Research published by Johns Hopkins shows that roughly 10% of US deaths are caused by medical errors. Malpractice is dangerous; it can easily claim a patient’s life if the medical practitioner is not careful enough. It is an umbrella term; factors like administering the wrong dosage, prescribing the wrong medication, using the incorrect treatment route, or performing an unnecessary surgery all come under this term.
Hence, if you notice that your medical professional is mishandling your case, you are well within your rights to contact an attorney and get them sued. Apparent signs of medical malpractice include dismissing your concerns, not paying attention to your medical charts, and showing severe neglect towards you as a patient. Therefore, if you feel your hunches rising, here are some things you should do if you fear you’re getting maltreated:
1: Speak to a lawyer
If you want to understand the complete picture of what you’re going through, it is best to speak to a malpractice attorney. Malpractice cases can be tricky, and not everything comes under medical negligence. There must be a clear connection between your case and how your healthcare provider handles you. When you can point out where the neglect occurred, you have a malpractice case on your hands.
However, finding an attorney is tricky; you must work with lawyers specializing in medical malpractice and have a track record of litigating these cases. There are also many types of malpractice situations, so to ensure you match with the right lawyer, look into lawfirm.com and consult the board of expertise present there.
2: Don’t outright accuse your doctor
Don’t accuse your doctor of malpractice, no matter how strongly you feel about how you were treated. Understand that calling out your doctor in a suspected medical malpractice case can land you in immense legal trouble. You should keep your comments to yourself and try not to give away any indication you feel your healthcare professional is mishandling your case.
Similarly, steer clear from posting anything on social media or making public announcements of any sort unless your attorney lets you. Unsubstantiated claims can jeopardize your chances of winning, and the evidence and paperwork you submit also lose credibility if you’re not careful with the accusations you post online. While you may think you’re doing your public duty by warning other patients, it’s best to let the lawsuit speak for itself.
3: Get your medical records
Hospitals need to keep medical records on all their patients. So, if your doctor administered the wrong medication or messed up your treatment, it is most likely on record as well. Your medical records are concrete evidence that the healthcare professional did mess up your case, because of which you’re currently suffering. The best way to request your medical records is by asking for copies of your medical documents from your doctor and keeping the information safe. You can put in a request with the hospital’s administration if you feel your doctor may not cooperate with you.
4: Try documenting everything
Documentation can lead to a paper trail, which helps narrow down when and what medical malpractice occurred. You should try keeping dated records of when you went to the hospital and hold on to any prescriptions and medical bills you receive from the hospital. Similarly, try documenting other factors like when you feel you were neglected, details on the pain you felt post-treatment, and photographs of the physical injuries you sustained as well as how these injuries impact your everyday life.
If you can prove how your life changed from being perfectly healthy to becoming dependent, you may have a solid chance of winning your medical malpractice case.
5: Consult another doctor
If you have a strong belief that your doctor made a medical error that harmed you, then you shouldn’t hesitate to turn to another doctor for advice. Ask questions like if the wounds you see or how your physical health deteriorated are common occurrences among patients or if you have been mistreated. An unbiased opinion can help you put things into perspective and confirm your suspicions.
While meeting another doctor for a consultation, you can mention that you fear being medically misdiagnosed, but if you’re uncomfortable sharing that information, say you need another opinion about your well-being. The second doctor can help you learn about your failing health as well as document your condition in detail. These experts will also devise a treatment route for you that can help improve your situation.
6: Don’t make contact with other parties
Once you get the ball rolling and pursue a legal claim, you must be wary about what you say and who you speak to. This is because when you’re building a case, any information you accidentally reveal can be used against you. In this situation, you should avoid talking to people who can jeopardize your case. No matter how agitated you are, never warn or threaten the hospital you plan on suing about your plans. The last thing you want is for the defendant to discover your intentions.
As the legal work progresses, don’t be surprised if the defendant’s insurance company attempts to contact you and ask you about the claim. If you get any calls from an insurance company, it’s best to redirect them to your attorney. Insurance company representatives are not easy to tackle; they quickly twist your words and can ruin your case. So, try not to answer their questions, avoid interacting with them, and take the back seat as your attorney handles your situation.
There’s nothing more terrifying than learning that your doctor may be mishandling your treatment. If you’re in such a situation, trust your instincts and investigate if that is true. Anytime you feel your doctor is mishandling your case or not paying as much attention as they should, don’t dismiss it. By documenting, consulting, and carefully keeping records of how your medical caregiver manages your case, you can save yourself and hold the healthcare body accountable.