Despite strict regulations in the medical industry that exist to protect patient welfare, hospitals around the country engage in medical malpractice every day. If you suspect medical malpractice – a health care provider’s failure to treat you with appropriate care – take steps to protect your legal rights from the very beginning of your case. Learn what to do and what not to do as a potential victim.
Consult With Another Medical Doctor
First, find another doctor to get a second medical opinion. Getting a second opinion can help you determine whether you are actually a victim of medical malpractice or if what the first physician did was reasonable. If you believe that the first doctor missed the signs of cancer, for example, and a second medical doctor correctly diagnoses you, this could be proof that the first doctor made an error.
Keep an Injury Journal
An injury journal is a chance for you to describe what you are feeling and experiencing in the aftermath of alleged medical malpractice. During a lawsuit, your injury journal could help a judge or jury understand how the incident impacted your life, such as the physical pain you suffered from an injury, your related emotional distress and any lost wages from having to miss work. An injury journal can help tell your story to a jury, prove your case, and increase the value of a pain and suffering award.
Request Medical Records
In a medical malpractice case, it is the plaintiff’s burden to prove that the defendant is more likely to be responsible than not responsible for the injury or illness in question. You can collect evidence to start meeting your burden of proof by carefully documenting your medical journey. Request copies of your medical records from all of the doctors that you saw.
Your medical records can provide evidence for your case by showing the symptoms that you were experiencing, the medical tests performed and the medications prescribed. If a reasonable and prudent physician would have done something differently in your medical care, this could be proof of medical malpractice. Your medical records may document the mistake.
What Should I NOT Do if I Suspect Medical Malpractice?
Just as there are steps that you should take if you believe you have a medical malpractice case, there are also things that you should not do. Avoiding the following common mistakes can allow you to build a stronger claim to damages:
- Do not make contact with other parties involved. Contacting the doctor, hospital or other parties involved could hurt your case.
- Do not begin to make verbal or written settlement negotiations. Insurance companies are known for trying to take advantage of clients. Once you accept a settlement, you cannot reopen your case. This is why it is important not to accept until you’ve spoken to an attorney.
- Do not sign any document without consulting an attorney. You may be signing away your rights without realizing it.
- Do not post to social media. Do not talk about the incident or your lawsuit on social media. Anything you post online could be used against you by the defendant.
When in doubt, speak to a medical malpractice lawyer as soon as you suspect this type of wrongdoing against you or a loved one. A lawyer can take over your case and pursue justice on behalf of you and your family.
Contact a Medical Malpractice Attorney
Medical malpractice is a complex area of law. If you have this type of case, an attorney can help you navigate the laws and protect your rights. A medical malpractice lawyer in Kansas City will have the experience, knowledge and skills to fight for justice and fair financial compensation on your behalf. Hiring an attorney from the very beginning of your case is the best way to handle this type of lawsuit.