Cases of medical malpractices abound the world over. In the United States, 10% of total deaths in the country are due to medical errors or negligence according. To bring this into perspective, a quarter-of-a-million people die every year in the US due to medical malpractice. This figure does not include non-fatal injuries.
Since you stand a good chance of falling prey to medical malpractice injuries, it is important that you understand what you should do in case you ended up being a medical malpractice victim. To get justice and compensation for your injuries, the following steps are recommended:
1. Get Another Doctor
Do not take chances with your health, especially when doing so could expose you to a 10% risk of death. If you are convinced your doctor made errors in diagnosing or treating you, look for another doctor immediately. This second doctor will review your records and any tests you were subjected to before diagnosing you. After this, he or she will commence treatment to correct the damage caused by the initial doctor and put you on a recovery path.
2. Ask for Your Medical Records
It is crucial that you ask for your medical records the moment you suspect medical negligence. These records will later act as critical evidence during a medical malpractice case. Among the records you should secure include your medical history, symptoms, medical prescriptions, and the tests performed on you. The records will indicate the diagnosis and the line of treatment prescribed by your first doctor. If there was a misdiagnosis, chances are that you took the wrong medical treatment. To make sure the medical practitioner does not alter your medical records, keep a copy of the same in a secure place.
3. Maintain a Journal
The moment you suspect you are a medical malpractice candidate, start journaling. Write down anything related to your health. Detail any symptoms related to the medical error you may be experiencing. While at it, describe how the medical error has affected your life. For instance, if you missed reporting to work due to the error, write this down. Jot down any profitable activity you missed due to the medical malpractice. Since your journal will become a critical part of your evidence later in court, be as detailed as possible.
4. Contact a Medical Malpractice Lawyer
Hiring a lawyer with credible experience handling cases like yours is a first step in making sure your compensation claim will sail through. While you might think you have a watertight case, do not be tempted to represent yourself. Get a personal injury lawyer with proven experience in handling professional negligence cases. Always consult your personal injury lawyer before signing any document. This gives you an opportunity to ask any question you may have.
You also get a chance to assess the suitability of the lawyer before you hire them. Give your lawyer as much detail as possible about your condition. You should also provide the lawyer with copies of your medical records, and your journal as well to help them commence investigations. Once your lawyer has all the information he or she needs, you can concentrate on recovery while they prosecute your case in court.
5. Avoid Contacting Other Parties Involved in Your Case
Once your attorney has taken over, avoid talking to other parties about your case. Instead, refer them to your lawyer and let him or her deal with them. While it may be tempting to seek sympathy capital on social media, resist the temptation. Anything you post online can be used against you. There is also a likelihood that the defendant’s insurance company may try to contact you once they are served with the claim. Do not respond to them directly. Instead, refer them to your lawyer. Insurance adjusters can be very cunning and could twist your words to your detriment. Let your lawyer handle them.
If you are a medical malpractice victim, contact a personal injury lawyer as soon as possible. A reputable medical malpractice attorney will competently litigate your case to get you the compensation package that you deserve.