Medical malpractice occurs when a doctor or medical professional fails to perform their duties correctly, leading to the injury or even death of a patient. Recent studies have shown that medical negligence is now the third leading cause of death in the United States. Around 20 percent of patients treated in hospitals are subject to some form of preventable medical error.
Over 200,000 people are estimated to have died as the result of a medical mistake. Medical malpractice is a serious issue that needs to be addressed and prepared for. If you or a loved one could be a victim of medical malpractice, here are steps you can take to ensure your safety and healing.
Document or keep a journal
Start keeping a journal to write down any notes or things you notice regarding your health. This organizes your thoughts and keeps track of what is happening. Document any symptoms you might be experiencing as a result of a medical error. Record any health-related issues that you experience, including the time and dates of such occurrences.
You can even take pictures or videos of your experience. You might also include prescriptions, doctor appointments, screening results, and more. All this will help if you decide that the evidence is enough to file a claim and you take it to an attorney.
Find a new doctor
If you believe that your current doctor is guilty of medical malpractice, it is important that you find another doctor as soon as possible. This helps you avoid further issues and, if a mistake was made, to correct it.
It is wise to be referred to a new doctor so that they can attend to any possible injury and give a proper diagnosis from a second party. A new doctor will be able to focus on providing treatment for any newly developed symptoms, as well as working to better your condition.
Request medical records
Medical records are the main component when filing a case due to medical malpractice. These records contain all the relevant information regarding your experience with whatever caused the injury, symptoms you are facing, medical history, prescriptions, and more.
Medical records work as evidence in order to follow through with what happened. They can show proof of a doctor’s negligence if facts do not add up and they failed to deal with the situation correctly. Include these records in a journal as well.
Contact an attorney
It’s always best to get professional help in these situations. Whether you merely suspect medical malpractice or have concrete evidence, medical malpractice attorneys can ensure that the process goes according to the law, and they will help you seek compensation for the situation.
When meeting with a medical malpractice attorney, be as detailed as possible when it comes to explaining what happened, including all relevant information. Provide documents, such as a journal of all your symptoms, medical records, and expenses, as well as the results of the injury and their effect on your health.
Medical malpractice is no minor issue. It is often the result of multiple factors, such as cutting corners or inadequate training. Filing a lawsuit due to medical malpractice is not a matter of seeking money or punishment; rather, it is an act driven by justice and prevention.
If you are dealing with symptoms as a result of medical malpractice, or if you suspect medical malpractice occurring to you or someone you know, it is important to follow the correct procedure to ensure your safety and your health.