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What to Do if You or a Loved One Is Injured by Medical Malpractice

7 October 2015No Comments

Seek Ongoing Medical Care, but From Alternative Providers

If you or your loved one is harmed by medical malpractice, the first and most critical step will be to seek appropriate, competent, and understanding medical care by alternate providers immediately.

In this sense, patients or loved ones considering filing future claims against negligent medical professionals need to understand that medical malpractice law accounts for injuries or harms caused by patient’s failing to seek medical treatment for injuries sustained. This may complicate an otherwise obvious case of medical malpractice from a legal perspective, and from a medical perspective, leaves yourself or your loved one without the medical treatment that are legally entitled to receive.

Document All Past and Future Medical Treatment Wherever Possible

A critical element of any medical malpractice case will be documenting all aspects of your past medical treatment by negligent providers, as well as any corrective treatment required by alternative medical service providers. Things to consider when weighing the possibility of future medical malpractice claims and while documenting ongoing treatment necessarily will include considerations of grounds for medical malpractice claims, which generally include one or more of the following:

  • Failure to properly diagnose, whether in a timely manner or a misdiagnosis entirely
  • Failure to provide proper medical treatment per a reasonable standard of care
  • Prescription drug errors, including erroneous administration of incorrect drugs, as well as prescribing unnecessary or unwarranted medications
  • Surgical errors
  • Failure to inform, or breach of duty to warn patients of the risks of their symptoms, condition, and proposed treatment options, including failure to obtain informed consent from patients or parents in the case of minors
  •  Failure to monitor the condition of a patient before, during, and after medical treatment to ensure that complications will not, or do not arise that jeopardize the health and well-being of the patient

This process of documenting medical malpractice claims should necessarily include any communications, statements, and observations related to the doctor, hospital, or staff of either of these entities should be retained by the patient or their loved ones. Likewise, requests for medical records, which are legally a patient’s right to request, should be made as soon as possible. Finally, patients should seek to document the opinions of alternate providers in terms of the level of malpractice, error, or negligence present in prior medical care provided to the patient, as well as document any current or prospective future medical treatments recommended by their current medical care providers.

Involve Legal Counsel alongside New Medical Treatment Providers

In most cases, patients are simply trying to address outstanding health issues, while also trying to recover from previous ailments or medical treatments. Staying on top of prospective future medical malpractice claims should not be the responsibility of the patient or their loved ones as treatment is being obtained by new medical providers. However, having legal counsel involved once medical negligence or malpractice is suspected is essential towards building and ensuring the viability of future claims. In this sense, patients harmed or wrong by a given doctor or medical service provider should first seek to establish new medical care providers, while at the same time, establish a relationship with an attorney, who can advise patients throughout the new medical treatment process.

References:

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2628513/

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1291321/

http://www.ncsl.org/research/financial-services-and-commerce/medical-liability-medical-malpractice-laws.aspx

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