Despite the rigorous training that medical practitioners go through, research has suggested that medical malpractice accounts for nearly 10% of all deaths in the United States. While your doctor is someone you should ideally trust the most with your health, it is important to stay vigilant to ensure that a medical professional’s errors aren’t impacting your health. Medical malpractice does not always have to entail major errors that cause severe injury or death; it can also look like wrong prescriptions, surgical errors, miscalculated anesthesia dosage, emergency room mistakes, misdiagnosis, failure to conduct proper testing, and more.
If you suspect you have fallen victim to medical malpractice, the first and foremost step to take is to hire a lawyer that specializes in medicine. Malpractice cases can get incredibly complicated, especially if the doctor in question is a reputed professional.
In addition to hiring a reliable attorney, here are some steps you should take immediately to help your case.
Contact another Medical Professional
The first thing to do for your safety is to find another doctor that can start working on correcting the errors made as a result of malpractice. Having a medical professional on hand will also assist in your case, as your new doctor will be able to testify against the errors made by your previous doctor.
Collect Medical Records
Your medical records contain all the essential information about your health problems and their treatment, including when you first experienced symptoms, how your doctor decided to approach them, and what prescriptions and tests were advised. These records are the most essential supporting item in your medical malpractice case. Provide a copy of these to your personal injury or medical malpractice lawyer in your very first meeting to help speed the case along.
Make Notes of Your Health
If you believe you are physically or mentally suffering due to a medical mistake made by your doctor, it is essential to gather as much detail and proof as possible. Keep a journal of your physical symptoms on a daily basis. This will help you inform your attorney of everything you have endured at the hands of your doctor. In case of a physical injury caused by a medical professional, regular take photos for visual evidence.
Don’t Get Involved with Other Parties
As a victim, you might feel the need to contact other patients and inform them of the doctor’s malpractice as well as question them about their experiences. However, this can taint your case and give your doctor the opportunity to file a defamation case against you. This can also happen if you post about your experience on social media, even if it is on a private account. It is advised that you do not contact any other parties involved and do not narrate your experience to anyone but your attorney. Your attorney will take care of this where needed.
Terminate Contact with the Healthcare Provider
Any communication you have with your healthcare provider following suspicion of medical malpractice can be used in court. It is best to conduct all communication through your attorney. Any attempts at direct negotiation with the doctor may cost you your case.
Medical malpractice can take a serious toll on a patient’s physical and mental health. However, the right attorney will work tirelessly to hold a negligent healthcare professional accountable for their actions and ensure compensation for the victim.