People care for their lives, and hence, when a medical error is made, it creates a devastating effect on their physical and mental health. Not only the patient, but the family members and friends also suffer huge losses from such mistakes. In such cases, it is seen that the patient’s closed ones keep on asking questions to the healthcare professionals because they cannot imagine or expect such a tragic error from doctors.
If any such incident happens with you, it could ruin your lifestyle, job, and relationships. Hence, whenever you suspect medical malpractice in your treatment or any other family member’s treatment, you need to take some immediate action steps. Remember that you don’t have to wait for anyone because if the time slips from your hand, you wouldn’t be able to file a lawsuit. To help you take relevant actions, we have summed up six steps that you should take when you suspect medical malpractice.
1Have a conversation with the doctor:
The first and foremost thing you need to do is have a conversation with the doctors who looked after the treatment. An open discussion can avoid many issues that you might have to face in the future. Tell them about the mistake they have made in the treatment or ask them about the problems you are facing during the treatment. Here, if the doctor accepts that it was an honest mistake, you can decide to resolve the issue.
It is better to resolve the issue if the doctors accept their mistake because filing lawsuits and following all the proceedings can add extra stress to your life. On the other hand, if the doctor denies that they didn’t make any such mistake; you can go to the medical licensing board. If you still don’t get any resolution, then you should proceed with filing a medical malpractice complaint against the doctors.
2Start your treatment with another doctor:
Taking care of your health, even in such critical times, is essential. If you feel that the doctors mistreat you, you can immediately move to another doctor for continuing the treatment. You can tell the doctor about the previous incident so that they can work on correcting the mistakes. Never delay taking an appointment from the second doctor because the first one’s mistake might put your life at risk. Hence, you can ask the new doctor about proper steps and let them diagnose your condition to decide about the treatment.
3Get multiple opinions:
If you feel that your treatment is going wrong and affecting your health, you have the right to act for it. You should take various views from different people and get treated by another doctor. You can visit other hospitals, medical offices, or any specialist for getting their opinion on your case. It is apparent that you will find whether or not something wrong has happened to you.
Remember that you don’t have to shy away from doing this because even a little avoidance can change the entire situation. So, better take multiple opinions and then decide about your next action step.
4Ask for your medical records:
Your medical records will serve as a summary of your medical history with the doctor. They will include your reported symptoms, lab test results, diagnoses, medications prescribed, visits to the hospital, and overall treatment. So, if you have decided to file a lawsuit against the doctor, these records will help others understand the timeline of events that happened in your treatment.
For instance, if the records state that the healthcare provider failed to put correct test results, and due to this mistake, the doctor misdiagnosed your health condition. Here, you can prove that there was a mistake from the healthcare providers. But if you don’t have all the records, it will become difficult for you to win the medical malpractice case. Most importantly, you will have to collect all the papers before finding the attorney for your case. Also, don’t let your doctor know about your actions because sometimes, they might alter the records even though it is illegal.
5Find a medical malpractice attorney:
You need to find and hire a medical malpractice attorney to represent your case. It is apparent that you won’t be representing yourself because the complexity and time involved in such medical cases can harm your recovering health. Hence, it is best to hire an attorney who has the experience to handle such cases. It is fine to search multiple attorneys and schedule consultations with them so that you can decide whom to hire for your case. You can ask them whatever doubts you have and also see what they have to say in this case.
Once you are fine with all the things, you can hire them. You can provide them a copy of your medical records along with the journal entries, receipts, and other documentation. Share all the information in detail and describe your experience with the doctor. You should tell them what incidents made you suspect the doctor’s treatments even if it was a small thing.
Remember that the attorney should know about everything to work in the case and investigate the alleged medical malpractice. Your attorney will take the case in-charge and contact you if more information is needed. In the interim, you can also contact them to share any additional information which you missed to share during the conversation.
6Decide about the first settlement you receive:
Once your doctor comes to know that you have filed a lawsuit against him, he will try to offer you some compensation to close the case. At such times, insurance companies and healthcare experts will offer some money as a refund of your treatment. Some people even accept this first settlement to avoid the complications and stress arising from the case. But if you feel that your case is worth more than what the doctor has to offer, then you shouldn’t accept it. You can take the help of the Founding Attorney and let the case proceed to trial as it can help you receive the right compensation.
We hope that this article helps you to take appropriate action steps when you suspect medical malpractice to get justice.