The medical professional body has certain principles and standards that doctors must adhere to when caring for a patient. However, medical practitioners sometimes go against these principles and standards. Unlike other regular professions, the result from failure to adhere to these standards can compromise the quality of life or even take away a person’s life.
Some findings on medical malpractice law in the United States reveal that a victim can file a case of personal injury or even death from medical malpractice. This is done when it is an outcome of a substandard medical condition or negligence of duty.
A medical malpractice lawyer has a major role in helping a client with claims of injuries sustained as a result of malpractice by medical practitioners. The most common although preventable medical errors that can warrant medical malpractice claims include the following:
- Surgical mistakes
- Error in drug prescription
- Wrong diagnosis
- Childbirth medical mistakes
- Failure to treat a patient
- Misinformed or Zero consent
- Fatal infections acquired in the hospital
- Premature discharge
- Failure to follow up patient
When medical malpractices like these arise, the victim must find a medical malpractice lawyer to help file for appropriate claims from necessary disciplinary actions and compensations.
What is Medical Malpractice Law?
Medical malpractice law is a part of personal injury law. It includes cases and claims that the carelessness of a medical worker led to the injury or death of a victim.
Although a medic is not responsible for all the harm a patient experiences, there are lawful responsibilities if the patient happens to sustain injury because the professional shifted from the normal quality of care given in similar health conditions.
A victim should know the right time to find a medical malpractice attorney to file a case of medical injury. In other words, for a claim to have a stand under medical malpractice law, it must have the following characteristics:
- Negligence of medical standards
Medical malpractice law is aware of specific standards laid out by the medical professional body, and a medical doctor should treat a patient according to these standards. This is called the standard of care. If the standard of care is breached, a victim will need a medical malpractice lawyer to file a claim of negligence.
- Harm was caused as a result of the negligence
Sometimes a claim of violation of the standard of care is not enough reason to bring a case under the medical malpractice law. The victim must have solid proof of injury sustained from violation of the standard of care. Note that the proof must show that the negligence caused the injury and that it could have been avoided if there was no violation.
- The harm has damaging consequences
To have grounds on medical malpractice injury, the victim must show that the injury sustained came as a result of a violation of the standard of care, which resulted in a disability, extraneous past and future healthcare bills, loss of income, pain, hardship, or suffering.
Sometimes, when the consequences are minute, it might cost more to pursue the case than to recover from it.
8 Steps to Take as a Victim of Medical Malpractice
Medical malpractice has taken the lives of individuals and rendered many disabled and helpless. Medical malpractice can be very demanding, and sometimes it is difficult to prove it to the jury.
As a victim of medical malpractice, here are important steps to take to save the situation and ease your burden:
- Get your medical records
The first step you should take as a victim of medical malpractice is to get all medical records as soon as the incident occurs. This is to prevent anyone from tampering with future evidence that can alter legal claims.
- Have a conversation with the health care professional
It takes several training and a lot of professional experience before a medical doctor is deemed fit for practice. Medical mistakes rarely occur as a result of the usual incompetence of the doctor, and one way to find out is to have a conversation with the professional to know what went wrong.
The major reason for this is for you to deduce the issue and know if the doctor can and is willing to correct it.
- Ask for the opinion of other doctors
If you are a victim or standing in for someone who had experienced injury from medical malpractice, it is advisable to seek the opinion of other medical personnel on the issue. This can help the medical malpractice lawyer during claims and even save lives.
- Switch to a new health care provider through a referral
If the result of your consultation shows that the mistake could have been avoided, it is best to switch to a new doctor immediately. Not only will this help your medical malpractice lawyer later, but also enhance your recovery which is the top priority.
- Know your legal rights as a victim of medical malpractice
As a patient who went to a health care provider for treatment, you expected that the medical doctor would treat you according to the standard of care. If the contrary happens and you are left with more pain and possibly an injury, you have every right to pursue the case for the harm you have sustained.
- Document everything that happened to you
It can take several years before a medical malpractice claim is resolved. Since memories can fade away and the victim might even experience a traumatic loss of memory, it is important to create a journal of everything that happened.
- Contact a medical malpractice attorney
Make sure to act fast if you are a victim or believe a loved one is a victim of medical malpractice. This involves getting in touch with an expert medical malpractice lawyer. A medical malpractice attorney can determine the merits of your claim, help deal with insurers, and also build a strong objective case.
- Provide the medical malpractice lawyer with the necessary information to help solve the case
Also, ensure to assist the medical malpractice lawyer by providing and reporting all medical records and information relevant to the case. This is the right time to turn in your journal to the lawyer for effective structuring of and strategizing on the case.
Medical malpractice is complicated and can result in serious lifetime injury and even death sometimes. Going through cases like this without appropriate counsel and assistance from a medical malpractice attorney can pose the risk of losing much more than recovering from the harm.
Hence, it is important to seek the service of a medical malpractice lawyer who would take you through the steps of filing a claim and getting the best settlement possible.