What do I do if I suspect my doctor has done something wrong?
Medical malpractice is far more common than most people would believe. In fact, malpractice is the third leading cause of death in the United States. For this reason, it is essential that every person knows exactly what to do should they suspect their doctor of making a mistake. The law clearly states that you are entitled to compensation should you successfully prove that your doctor did something wrong that negatively affected your health. However, actually receiving this compensation isn’t always so simple, which is why it is essential that anyone who suspects their doctor of malpractice takes the following steps.
Get Medical Help
If you suspect that your doctor made a mistake and your health has suffered as a result, the very first thing you’ll want to do is seek treatment from another medical professional. Obviously, if you begin to suffer from any adverse effects following a medical procedure, you’ll want to make sure that your health is taken care of before pursuing any potential legal actions. Your health is definitely paramount, but seeking treatment and advice from an independent doctor will also allow you to gather evidence and documentation that helps support your claim of malpractice.
Seek Legal Assistance
Once you make sure that any immediate health concerns are taken care of, the very next thing you’ll want to do is consult with a personal injury lawyer. A lawyer will be able to give you assistance and advise you on the strength of your claim. As well, an attorney can be a huge help in negotiating with doctors and insurers and also when gathering evidence to support your claim. Unfortunately, your doctor’s medical malpractice insurance provider will generally fight hard against your claim in order to hopefully avoid having to pay a settlement. This means that you’ll need to make sure that you have a strong, skilled attorney on your side to give yourself a better chance of proving your case.
Your lawyer will obviously be able to assist you in this area, but it is essential that you still begin gathering evidence the moment you suspect your doctor of malpractice. This means carefully keeping track of any records and documentation related to the original medical procedure and also any subsequent treatments and procedures. One of the very first things you’ll want to do is request a certified copies of all of your medical records, bills and any other documentation related to the procedure. As well, you’ll want to keep a detailed, chronological record of everything your doctor said, which specialists you saw, what treatments you underwent, etc., as all of this can prove useful in helping to link your medical problems to your doctor’s mistake.
Keep Your Suspicions to Yourself
Although healthcare providers are required by law to provide you with copies of your medical records, you will find them much more helpful and easier to deal with if they don’t suspect that you’re about to file a malpractice suit against them. For this reason, you’ll want to keep your suspicions of malpractice to yourself at least until you’ve discussed your case with an attorney. Even if you do have a valid case to file a malpractice claim, telling your doctor that you think they made a mistake will still tend to make the case more difficult. Not only will it become more difficult to gather the necessary evidence, but it could impact your ability to bargain during the settlement negotiations.
We tend to place all of our trust and faith in doctors to help us treat and overcome our medical issues, and this is exactly why the law takes medical malpractice cases so seriously. Doctors are supposed to do everything in their power to do their jobs properly and prevent mistakes. Furthermore, doctors definitely need to be held accountable for any damages, issues and injuries that arise out of their negligence, and having a skilled attorney by your side is the best way to hopefully ensure that this is the case.