Disclaimer: the following information serves as a general guideline about medical malpractice. If you have any questions about medical malpractice, seek the services of a medical malpractice lawyer immediately.
Nobody is perfect; everybody makes mistakes from time to time. Your doctor may even make a mistake once in a while, but his/her mistake shouldn’t hurt you or other people. And if because of your doctor’s error, you or people you care about end up hurt, injured, or worse, killed, the doctor or healthcare provider is liable.
You may not only become physically hurt but also emotionally and financially hurt. Your family and friends may also suffer during this difficult time. You may be unsure on what to do next, but knowing these necessary steps will help you achieve justice. Here is what to do if a medical practitioner has wronged you.
Hire a Lawyer
Some say a lawyer is not necessary for every possible medical malpractice incident. Some argue that most of the time that when a doctor harms a patient, the patient is powerless in proving the cause or will be unable to get a decent enough compensation for his/her damages to make a lawsuit worthwhile.
However, whether your damages are minor or severe, it’s always better to consult a lawyer. The lawyer will be able to help and guide you if you want to file a lawsuit against the medical practitioner who was negligent, especially if the lawyer like the ones here are experienced handling medical malpractice cases.
When seeking a lawyer, make sure to check these things:
- His/her reputation
- If he/she settles claims for less than they are truly worth
- His/her experience
- His/her fees for the services he/she will provide
File a Report
Every state has specific processes for filing complaints against medical practitioners. You shouldn’t be overwhelmed by your state’s process, as it’s made to cater your needs as a victim. It should not prevent you from filing a complaint. Your complaint may trigger other malpractice victims and may warn your doctor’s future patients. You may help people gain the courage to share their stories and save other potential victims.
You should also remember that even if you already filed a report, this might not initiate a lawsuit. If you wish to file a lawsuit against your doctor, especially if his/her behavior can be considered criminal, be sure to consult a medical malpractice lawyer.
Know Your Injuries
It can be challenging to identify a medical mistake; however, if you familiarize yourself with common medical errors, you’ll be more prepared if you decide to file a report.
Here are the categories of medical malpractices:
- Doctor’s Mistake: No Injury to the Patient
This happens when a doctor makes a mistake, and his/her error is caught before you suffer any severe or lasting damages. The absence of harm does not mean that your doctor did not make a mistake. It simply means that the mistake can’t be considered medical malpractice since you didn’t suffer any lasting damage.
- Doctor’s Mistake: Injury is Minor
This occurs when a doctor misdiagnoses your injury but quickly corrects his/her misdiagnosis. There would not be a case against your doctor since he/she promptly made sure to fix it and you didn’t suffer any damage.
- Doctor’s Mistake: Serious Injury
This happens when your doctor is negligent when prescribing an incorrect medication or giving a diagnosis, but his/her mistake didn’t cause harm to you.
- Doctor’s Liability: Your Damages are Small
This occurs when you file a lawsuit as a matter of principle, rather than doing it for financial recovery.
- Doctor’s Liability: Your Damages
This happens when your doctor’s negligence causes you severe injury. Most of the time, the case ends favorably to you, the victim.
Seek a Second Opinion
Your health and safety should always be your top priority. If you feel that your medical practitioner has wronged you, seek another doctor’s medical treatment. Doing this will help improve your condition and correct any error.
If you seek out another doctor, be sure that you:
- Check his/her experience in the field
- Know he/she works in the same field as your previous doctor
- Give him/her your full medical history
- Provide him/her with thorough information
- Explain to him/her how your health was before, during, and after the incident
Gather Evidence and Look for Witnesses
Having evidence and witnesses to back up your claim will help you achieve a good outcome. Be sure to:
- Gather pictures of your injured body part before and after the incident
- Collect contact information of possible witnesses
- Gather video footage of your operation (if there is any)
- Ask any witnesses if they will provide an official statement
- Keep your medical records, bills, and other related items
Do Whatever You Can to Prevent Medical Malpractice From Happening to Others
Whether or not your doctor intentionally neglected his/her professional responsibility, you should do whatever you can do to prevent others from falling victim to malpractice. This may be a hard time right now, but knowing what to do will help you a lot.
Stick closely to the tips we have given:
- Hire a medical malpractice lawyer
- File a report
- Know what kind of medical malpractice injury you have
- Seek out another doctor
- Collect evidence and witnesses
Follow these steps and you’ll be able to make your healthcare provider liable for his or her negligence.
Dianna Charles is a promising young law enthusiast that hopes to bring her youthful spirit in her field. She tries to add a refreshing modern take to topics on the legal world that people can learn from. Dianna enjoys her free time with friends and family, and loves to cook for them.