Are You a Victim of Medical Malpractice? Here’s What You Should Do
Across the country, people from all walks of life have to deal with ailments and illnesses from time to time. And when we have medical problems that need attention, we turn to the medical professionals within our community for proper care and treatment.
But unfortunately, sometimes medical professionals are negligent. And when this occurs you could suffer dearly.
Reports from a variety of sources claim that medical errors are the third leading cause of death after heart disease and cancer in the United States. And that at least more than 250,000 people die due to medical errors each year.
When medical malpractice occurs, you’re entitled to compensation for pain and suffering, medical expenses, and a host of other issues that you may have suffered due to negligence.
If you or someone you know has suffered from a medical error, the following will provide clarity on the process you should take.
Obtain a Copy of Your Medical Records
One of your first steps if you’re the victim of a medical error is to obtain copies of your medical records, then immediately contact a lawyer. Note that these records should include details of every procedure that was performed and every prescription you were given.
When a medical malpractice lawyer takes up your case, they’re going to need all the evidence they can get in order for your claim to be successful in court. And the more evidence that you can provide for them will only make your case stronger.
For example, if you had to have an operation and you suffered an internal injury, or if something was removed that wasn’t supposed to be (yes, this does happen), then you will have detailed documentation of this procedure in your medical records. And this information will be vital to your case.
Avoid Making Contact with Other Interested Parties
Often after a medical error, patients might be angered or overly upset. And unfortunately, there have been occurrences where victims have lashed out at healthcare providers in the form of threats and the like. But this type of behavior can ultimately hurt your claim.
It’s recommended that under no circumstances should you contact a pharmacist, healthcare facility, insurance company, or any other party related to the medical error whatsoever.
For example, mental health patients who have been prescribed the wrong medication and have suffered severe side effects may immediately lash out at the pharmacy or at the primary care physician and threaten them with a lawsuit. But this can actually work against you in court.
Maintaining contact with your attorney throughout the entire process is regarded as the best strategy after you’ve suffered any type of medical error. In fact, even phone calls from other third parties related to the incident should be avoided as well.
Keep a Journal
Even before you contact an attorney, you should begin keeping a journal if you believe you’re a victim of a medical error. And this journal should be updated throughout the entire process as well.
A journal will be a key piece of evidence that can serve as a testimonial for the symptoms you suffer, the treatment you’ve had, and how the medical error has drastically impacted your life.
When keeping a journal, try to be as detailed as possible and try to update it daily. For example, if you’ve incurred lost wages because you’ve been unable to work, write down in your journal each day you’ve been unable to work and note the amount of money you’ve lost due to the medical error per day.
Medical error is an unfortunate reality in the world of healthcare. And though everyone (including doctors) makes mistakes from time to time, these mistakes can cost a patient dearly. As such, any medical professional who has made an error or shown negligence should be held liable so that you can receive the compensation that you’ll need in order to move forward with your life.