A 2016 study from Johns Hopkins found that almost 10% of all deaths in the US may be the result of medical malpractice.
That figure doesn’t include many others who have suffered injuries at the hands of a healthcare professional. If you’re in this situation, you know how frustrating and overwhelming it can be—but you may not know what to do about it.
If you’re the victim of medical malpractice, here are five steps to help you take control of the situation.
1. Find a New Doctor
Your health should be your first priority. If you think your current doctor committed medical malpractice, and you’re filing a medical malpractice lawsuit, you should switch to a new doctor as soon as possible.
This can not only help you work to correct the medical mistake, but it can also prevent the first doctor from making alterations in your medical records that would influence your chances of a successful claim. In addition, the new doctor can review your health to provide unbiased information relevant to your lawsuit.
2. Request Medical Records
You can do this at any time, but it’s especially important in medical malpractice cases where each document can play a role in your outcome. Make sure to get your hands on any tests performed, the medications you were prescribed, your symptoms, and the steps your doctor took to affect your health.
3. Contact a Medical Malpractice Attorney
Depending on the statute of limitations in your state, you’ll need to contact an attorney quickly. Some states allow up to two years to bring a claim, but don’t forget that it can take a long time for even experienced attorneys to investigate, especially if your medical malpractice claim is complicated.
4. Stay Organized
In the whirlwind of activity leading up to a medical malpractice lawsuit, it’s easy to lose track of information and details that could help your case. This is especially true if your claim takes months or years to resolve.
To avoid this, make sure to stay organized. Keep a journal to preserve your memories of the incident and your injuries, as well as your current care. Track any relevant calls you make to your doctors and medical malpractice attorney, including the date and outcome of the call, including any action items on either end.
5. Avoid Talking About the Details
Once you’ve hired an attorney, there’s no need to speak to anyone involved in the claim, including healthcare professionals and insurance adjusters. All discussion should go through your attorney, who can ensure your words aren’t twisted around later on for use against you.
Act Fast After Medical Malpractice
Seeking expert help after medical malpractice can mean the difference between sufficient compensation for your pain and a dismissed case. It’s important to pull your documents together and act with a cool head, even if the situation is complex and frustrating. With patience and attention to detail, you’ll find you have a great chance at a successful outcome.
If you’re interested in more legal help and lifestyle tips, check out our other blogs for more.