Medical negligence and malpractice is the third leading cause of death in the USA. It’s also responsible for many chronic conditions and injuries, which can hugely affect your quality of life and even prevent you from working.
Medical malpractice happens when a healthcare provider has been negligent or has provided substandard care which causes harm to you or a family member. If you’re simply unhappy with your care, it isn’t necessarily a case of malpractice unless there’s been significant damage. But what can you do if you think you’ve experienced medical malpractice?
Information is your best friend, but you might forget details in the heat of the moment. Document everything, such as dates, times, the names of your healthcare providers, your prescriptions, and anything else you think may be important. Even if you aren’t planning to file a lawsuit, it always helps to know what’s going on.
Don’t be afraid to ask questions, especially if something seems to have gone wrong. Sometimes complications occur that aren’t anyone’s fault, but they could have been caused by negligence or a poor standard of care. Ask what’s going on, how it occurred, and how it will be fixed. Be direct and remember that you have a right to know what’s going on.
You’re also entitled to a copy of your medical records. You don’t need to explain why you want them, and you especially shouldn’t tell anyone that you want to file a lawsuit.
Contact a Lawyer
If you believe that you’re a victim of medical malpractice, the next step is to contact a lawyer. Ideally, you should call an attorney who specializes in these cases, so that they can better make a case for you.
Don’t feel guilty about filing a lawsuit. Even if you liked your doctor, if you’ve ended up with a health condition because of improper care, or worse, lost a loved one, you are entitled to compensation. If you can’t work or support your family, the compensation will help you and your family to move forward.
So, what kinds of things can lead to a medical malpractice suit? Here are some of the most common ones.
- A misdiagnosis or a late diagnosis, caused by failing to spot symptoms, not ordering medical testing, or errors during the testing.
- A failure to treat, caused by releasing a patient too soon, neglecting a patient’s medical history, failing to provide follow-up care or appropriate medical tests.
- Surgical errors, caused by performing the wrong surgery on a patient, leaving items inside the patient, or causing a reaction to anesthesia.
- Prescription drug errors, caused by prescribing the wrong medicine, the wrong dosage, or failing to recognize dangerous reactions, including allergies or addiction.
Speaking of prescription drug errors, some patients have been prescribed medications that were once considered safe but have resulted in severe damage. For example, Zantac, a popular treatment for heartburn, has been found to cause cancer in some patients. If you have been impacted by this drug, contact a firm like Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers to find out more about a potential case.