Numerous personal injury lawsuits are filed in the United States each year, and there are a vast range of causes for the same. People are injured on the job, on the road, and by medical negligence. Motor vehicle collisions, slip and fall incidents, and medical malpractice are among the major causes of personal injury. Statistics show that the most frequent cause of personal injury is vehicle collisions that result from irresponsible driving and bad luck; with an average of 6 million Americans becoming injured in automobile incidents every year. Other common reasons for personal injury are dog bites (affecting around 5 million); slip and fall accidents, and medical negligence. In any personal injury case, medical record review is an important and indispensable process. A research team at the prestigious Johns Hopkins University found that 10% of all deaths in the U.S. are due to medical errors.
Given that medical malpractice occurs so frequently, you need to understand what exactly to do if you are a victim of malpractice.
- The first priority should be your health: If you believe that a doctor has made a misdiagnosis or made a mistake when treating you, find another doctor as soon as possible to correct that medical error. The second doctor will have to perform a medical records review and also conduct certain tests before he/she can make a diagnosis. Only after that the doctor can begin a course of treatment to correct the medical mistake.
- Document everything: Make sure that you have accurate documentation of dates, times, names of doctors and nurses, medications, dosages and so on. Descriptive notes are the best way to document all details. You will have to gather all of your medical records and prepare a first-hand report of all happenings and develop a chronology of everything that led up to the malpractice, as well as during and after it. Take pictures or video if necessary. These will prove valuable if you decide to file a claim. The medical records may prove that your doctor failed to accurately interpret the test results and as a consequence misdiagnosed your condition.
- Contact an attorney: Medical malpractice cases are very complex, and you need an attorney to represent you. Give the attorney a copy of the evidence you have gathered such as your medical records, receipts, journal entries and other available documentation. The attorney can then move ahead with investigation into the alleged medical malpractice.
- Keep all details confidential: A medical negligence case may take many months or even years, and therefore the details of the case must be kept confidential. Do not contact the healthcare provider or facility that caused you harm. Do not contact them to inform them that you are filing a medical malpractice claim against them.
- Stay away from social media: You may inadvertently post something that may prove detrimental and therefore it is important to maintain a low profile and keep away from social media venues.
- Do not oblige the defendant’s insurance company: It is possible that the defendant’s insurance company may try to contact you. In such an instance, request them politely to contact your attorney.
Providers of medical review service to medical malpractice lawyers know that the number of medical negligence cases are on the rise. Since medical malpractice law is highly technical, laymen may not be able to understand its complexities. This increases the significance of having a medical malpractice attorney to represent you. The above-mentioned guidelines should help you decide the actions to take if you suspect medical negligence on the part of a particular doctor.