How To Act If You Suspect Medical Negligence

7 mins read

Medical malpractice or negligence is an improper and unskilled treatment of a patient provided by a healthcare professional. The surprising fact is that clinical negligence is uncommonly common, and it still seems to be on the rise. It can fall anywhere between diagnostic errors and wrong prescriptions leading to further complications and mistakes in operating rooms such as leaving towels or surgical instruments inside of a patient. Regardless of how shocking it is, it is still something that happens. If you suspect that it has happened to you or someone close to you, there are certain things you can do, as well as those you shouldn’t do.

Try to be unbiased

Being objective and entirely rational when yours or the health of those you love has been compromised, can be very difficult. However, it is crucial as you are probably about to step into a battle which is extremely complex and hard to win. The process can be very emotionally draining. This is why you should make sure your suspicions are based on at least some evidence and not purely on the bitter taste of an unfavorable outcome.

Do not contact the provider

By no means, you should attempt to fight this cause and get settled on your own by getting in touch with the medical practice or their legal representative. Even though it may seem obvious, you do not have the expertise to build this case on your own. By talking to them, calling them, sending them letters, or emails, you will be giving them an upper hand and allowing them to build their defense. Also, if they know it could be used against them, they may be reluctant to release the records you require for evaluating the case. Furthermore, and far more importantly, you will give them a chance to procrastinate and time is something you cannot afford to lose. What you probably do not know, but they certainly do, is that there is a time limit within which you can file a lawsuit or a compensation claim for this type of injury.

Do not make this public

Even though you may feel like you want to shout at the top of your lungs and make everyone aware of the alleged incident and malpractice, sometimes even to protect others, you should not do such a thing. Posting on social media could lead to a case of defamation, if you choose to state something as a fact while it hasn’t yet been proven, or has been proven as false, with the purpose of damaging someone’s reputation.

Change the medical provider

If you suspect you have been a victim of medical negligence, you are basing your claim on an adverse outcome of a treatment. In this case, the chances are that you are in such condition which requires further medical care. If this is the case, choose a different medical provider. Make sure they have all the relevant medical records. They will be able to assess your case and find the best approach possible for resolving your issue. In certain instances, they are able to provide a second opinion and treat you according to their findings. Do not ask them specifically to evaluate the treatment of the previous provider, even though they will probably do so while assessing your case but for the sole purpose of finding the best approach to your medical condition. Remember that it is not their place to judge the work of other practitioners and you should not put them in such position.

Gather evidence

In order to support your claim, you will need to provide evidence for it. We will assume that you have all the relevant medical documentation put together in one place, as most of us do when we are going through a treatment. The next step is to try to recall every visit and contact you had with the medical staff of the practice where the alleged negligence has occurred. Make a record of all the details you can remember. Write down names of any people who have witnessed the events and you think would be able to give their account.

Speak to a lawyer

Do not just speak to any lawyer, look for references and try to find reputable experts in the field. You need to find the best agents to advise you and assist you with the case. Medical negligence is hard to prove, and such compensation case may be hard to win. This is why you need someone to help you realize whether it is worth the effort. The lawyers will be able to find an expert medical practitioner in the field to assess the evidence and state whether they think it could be the case of malpractice or a set of circumstances, something that happens. The lawyers will subsequently review any correspondence between you and the defendant, manage witnesses and evidence and help reach a settlement.

Unfortunately, medical negligence exists. Protect your interests and the interests of those you love by taking the necessary steps toward good health and getting a clarification of any incidents that may have occurred.  Try not to damage anyone’s reputation until you are certain of their fault.