A quarter of a million people die because of medical malpractice in the United States every year – that is 10% of total deaths per annum. Since the negligence and misconduct of medical professionals is a leading cause of life-threatening and non-fatal injuries, it is important to understand the appropriate course of action in case you find yourself in that position. Doctors are human beings, which makes them as capable of making mistakes as anyone else. However, they should be held responsible for the harm inflicted upon patients, and the victims deserve compensation for their loss.
Medical malpractice implies that the healthcare professional made a technical or procedural error during medical treatment. It is not medical malpractice if a particular treatment didn’t work out for you. Some diseases are curable, but other times management of symptoms is the best doctors can do for you. A drug or medical procedure that worked for one patient may not necessarily work for another patient suffering from the same condition.
Therefore, if you suspect medical malpractice, here’s what you should do:
1. Get a 2nd and 3rd Opinion
If you are experiencing strange symptoms or your condition has gotten worse since the treatment started, it is wise to get a 2nd and 3rd opinion. You should consult other competent doctors in the same field, in order to test your theories. The new doctors may request certain tests and require a detailed outline of your ongoing treatment (and symptoms) to confirm or deny your suspicions. The outcome will determine if you onto something or suffering from typical paranoia.
2. Change your Doctor
If consulting other healthcare professionals confirms your suspicions, abandon the current treatment immediately and see a different doctor. The next doctor you choose will focus on reversing the damage instigated by the prior treatment and perhaps correct a misdiagnosis. Sometimes a former diagnosis is accurate, but the treatment approved or suggested is not compatible with the patient’s unique condition.
3. Obtain copies of your Medical Records
Once medical malpractice is identified, do not confront the liable practitioner or institution right away. Request copies of your complete medical records, as the information within shall be invaluable for your case. These records will provide detailed insight on your condition, as well as the diagnosis, treatment, and medication you were given from day one. If you will ask for the records after filing your claim or making accusations, the at-fault party may go as far as falsifying info in your medical documents.
4. Consult a Medical Malpractice Attorney
It is unwise to take legal action before discussing the case with an experienced lawyer. New York Personal Injury Attorney is well-versed in handling cases of medical malpractice, so you shall consider yourself in safe hands. Your attorney will guide you through the claim process and devise strategies suitable in your situation. He/she will assist in filing a lawsuit and represent you in court if a reasonable settlement cannot be reached.
5. Start a Medical Journal
You should start a medical journal as soon as you first suspect medical malpractice. You should describe all your symptoms, as well as everything related to your doctor visits and treatment. This is highly recommended because you might forget important information later on, given that humans are quite forgetful.
6. Maintain Confidentiality
Do not discuss the details of your case with anyone except your attorney. Do not even mention anything to your friends or hint something on social media. Consider this information highly sensitive, so keeping it private should be a priority. The defendant might try to manipulate your statements and try to make you look suspicious.