While the saying that health is wealth might have become a cliche, the message it sends across remains evergreen. This is why most people seek professional health care when they suspect something is wrong with their health. As they say in most life-threatening cases, early detection and diagnosis may just save your life. But what happens when health care becomes endangered due to the malpractices of medical professionals? Well, that’s what this article is all about.
What Is Medical Malpractice?
Medical malpractice is said to have occurred when a medical personnel causes hurt to a patient through negligence in the administration of his or her duties. This would include errors in diagnosis, treatment, or surgery.
There are four factors that must be in place before medical malpractice can be said to have happened:
- Duty: what was the health personnel meant to do
- Breach of duty: what aberration was involved due to negligence in delivering duty
- Hurt: injury caused by the negligence of health personnel
- Damages: aftereffects resulting from the hurt
What To Do When You Suspect Medical Malpractice
If you suspect that you’ve been a victim of medical malpractice, here are the things you should do or start doing immediately:
1. Get A Medical Malpractice Attorney
A medical malpractice case is different from other kinds of cases, and such needs to be handled by a professional who’s specialized in health law. Such a person is known as a medical malpractice attorney. These cases can be very complex and work differently in different parts of the country. Having experienced medical malpractice attorneys won’t only help you plead your case better but will help you in going about it the right way and following due process.
2. Consult With Another Medical Practitioner
Once you suspect there has been an occurrence of medical practice, check with another health professional immediately to ascertain exactly what could be wrong. Another doctor could ensure you run some tests and also get a second opinion about what’s wrong. This could help save you from the repercussions of the initial medical error.
Also, it provides you with clear medical evidence of how things could have been done if there was no initial error. If you do get results that prove there had been some kind of error or malpractice, then you have a very strong case.
3. Get Access To Your Medical Records
Another thing you should do immediately if you suspect a case of medical malpractice is to request your medical records. These records could be the dividing factor in your case. They could clearly show the error of the medical personnel or company involved. You’ll also need to show your record to your attorney, and your attorney might likely present these if it goes to court. So, make sure you keep the records in a safe and secured place that you can easily access.
4. Ensure That You Keep Proper Records
The moment you suspect there has been medical malpractice, don’t fail to document everything. Write out your experiences. If possible, keep a journal of all the occurrences that happen around that time. You might be surprised at how beneficial a proper record can be to your case. It’ll not only help you give proper details about the case, but it’ll also help you in having a sane estimate of what you’ve gone through, how much money you have spent as a result of injury, and others. Whatever you do, ensure you have things clearly documented.
5. Refrain From Contacting People Related To The Case
Do you know anybody who’s involved with the case? If you do, then it’s advisable that you don’t contact them.
The amount of money that's paid as damages or compensation for medical malpractice is outrageous. Aside from that, the consequences involved could be dire. No health personnel or organization would willingly attest to the fact that they are to blame. If you keep in contact with them or speak to them about the case, your words could be easily misconstrued. Try your best to keep the case within a little circle. If possible, it should just be you, your close family, and your attorney.
Also, don’t take to social media to advertise your misfortune. While this could be seen as a way to gain some clout on your case, it could backfire on you. In all, keep the information away from the public and the persons involved. You have a higher chance of success if they don’t see you coming.
Handling a medical malpractice case can be tough. Many of such cases have raged on for years because the persons involved didn't do things the right way. However, you can get more success with your case if you follow the simple steps highlighted above.