What to Do When You Suspect Medical Malpractice
Though we hold them in high regard, sometimes doctors make mistakes. After all, they are human. Those mistakes can be costly – and even deadly. Medical malpractice is defined as the negligence on behalf of a medical staff that results in necessary further intervention to repair the initial mistreatment. Proving a medical malpractice case requires four legal standards: the professional duty to the patient existed; there was a breach of that duty; there was an injury caused by the breach; and there were resulting damages from the breach.
Here are some basic steps to follow if you think you have been a victim of medical malpractice:
Document, document, document. As with any potential lawsuit, make sure that you document everything. Cases have been won with the diaries of its plaintiffs. Keep journals, make notes, and ask for information in writing when it is suspected a doctor or his office is not practicing medicine to a proper standard. This includes making note of treatment, diagnoses, the doctor and his staff’s discussions, etc. Also, remember to be honest; were the doctor’s instructions specifically or partially followed?
Contact an attorney who specializes in medical malpractice. No one knows the system and nuances better than an attorney who has experience in medical malpractice. Just because it feels like medical malpractice does not mean that it is. There are certain industry standards that doctors must meet, and medical malpractice attorneys will know those standards well.
Know the difference between bad bedside service and medical malpractice. Doctors and surgeons can provide poor service, but still conduct medical business well. Just because the doctor was unprofessional does not mean that he should be party to a lawsuit.
The clock is ticking. There are deadlines by which a lawsuit has to be filed, and they are different dependent upon where the injury occurred, where the treatment was sought, and when treatment began. The best sources for statute of limitations knowledge are attorneys, since it is never black and white.
Don’t have a medical malpractice case? Get a new doctor. If it turns out there is no medical malpractice case, still get a new doctor if you are uncomfortable with yours. There is no law that requires you to stay with the doctor who makes you uncomfortable or you feel is not meeting your standards, while still meeting national standards for treatment.
When it comes to medical malpractice, there is no one-size-fits-all approach. The best way to explore options is to contact a medical malpractice attorney and see what options are available. Exploring your potential claim can save your life and possibly others, depending on the severity of the breach of trust with a medical provider.
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