Understanding Medical Malpractice From The Patient Point Of View

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The healthcare industry is an incredibly complex network of services, procedures, and resources that can be difficult to navigate. Any time you put your trust in another person to perform a service for you or your loved one, there is a risk of negligence. When medical professionals breach the standard of care and their error results in injury to their patient, the incident could be considered medical malpractice. While we all hope it will never happen to us or someone we love, trusting your healthcare providers comes with risks if they fail to meet standards set by their profession and licensing board. If you think that you have been the victim of medical malpractice and would like more information on how this could impact you moving forward, read on to learn more about what medical malpractice is and what steps you should take following an incident of medical negligence.

Learn About Medical Malpractice?

Medical malpractice is any time a doctor, nurse, or another medical professional provides unnecessary or negligent care, which leads to injury for their patient. This could be anything from a misdiagnosis, a failure to diagnose, miscommunication with you or your loved ones, or a mistake in the administering of treatment. This can happen to anyone and is not always the result of negligence on the part of the medical professional; it could be due to lack of experience, bad luck, or any number of factors. While this does not necessarily mean that the care provider meant to cause harm, it does mean that a mistake has been made and that you have been potentially impacted as a result of that mistake.

While errors do happen in all industries, the stakes are much higher in the medical profession due to the health and well-being of the patient. If a doctor or other medical professional fails to meet the appropriate standard of care and your injury is a result of that negligence, you could be entitled to damages. These types of claims are often referred to as medical malpractice claims.

How To Lessen The Likelihood That You’ll Experience Malpractice

While it is impossible to prevent medical errors completely, there are ways that you can lessen the likelihood that you or your loved ones experience medical negligence. This is particularly important if you are receiving care from a doctor or other professional that you have not used before.

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  • Stay informed: Make sure that you are knowledgeable about your own condition and treatment. This could include reading up on your diagnosis online or reviewing treatment options with your healthcare provider.
  • Stay involved: Ask questions and make sure to communicate with your healthcare team. Make sure to understand what they are doing and feel comfortable with their recommendations.
  • Stay calm: While you may be anxious about your treatment, it is important to remain calm with your team. Being calm and cooperative can make it easier for your team to provide you with the care that you need.

How To Determine If You Were A Victim Of Malpractice

The first step in determining whether you have been the victim of medical negligence is to take stock of the situation. Take notes of all of your symptoms, medical conditions, and any potential triggers. If you are unsure about what these could be, speak to your doctor or an experienced legal representative about what you have experienced.

What To Do If You Believe You’re A Victim Of Negligent Care

Once you have identified an incident of medical negligence, the first thing you should do is document the details of what happened. Take extensive notes and keep copies of any records that you receive while at the doctor’s office, such as test results or medical imaging. While it can be upsetting to deal with an incident of medical negligence, it is important to document these details so that you can have a solid case for your malpractice claim. You will also want to get in touch with your healthcare provider to discuss the situation. If you find that you are not receiving the care you need from your doctor; you could consider speaking with a medical malpractice lawyer who can help you to explore your options.

Taking Your Case To Court

If you have experienced an event that is consistent with medical negligence, you have the right to file a medical malpractice claim. If you and your medical malpractice attorney believe that your claim is valid, then you will want to take it to court. If your case is successful, a court may award you damages, including things like lost income, future medical costs, pain and suffering, and more. Additionally, if your case is successful, it can help to prevent similar injuries and errors from happening to other patients.

Finding The Right Legal Representative

Once you have decided to file a medical malpractice claim, you will need to find an attorney to represent you. While you may be tempted to hire the first lawyer you come across, it is important to take the time to find the right legal representative. Conducting thorough research will allow you to identify attorneys in your area with experience in medical malpractice cases and the skill set required to win your case.

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Consider Court Interpreting Services If You Don’t Speak The Language

If English is not your first language or you don’t speak the language of the country the malpractice happened in, you will want to consider court interpreting services. Court interpreting services are essential when you don’t speak the language fluently, and you need assistance communicating during the legal process. If the legal representative you select does not provide court interpreting services, you may want to consider hiring an independent interpreter to assist you during your meetings. You can find out more about court interpreting services and how to get one for your upcoming case from Rosetta Translation.

Know What Kind Of Damages Can You Expect 

When you take your case to court and win, you can expect to be awarded damages. The amount of these damages will vary greatly depending on a variety of factors, including the severity of your injuries, your doctor’s negligence, and the jury’s decision in your case. Damages can include compensation for the cost of treating your injuries, the cost of any future treatment, the cost of missed work, emotional distress, and compensation for the pain and suffering that you have endured.