How to Prevent and Understand Medical Malpractice as a Patient
American medical practices have come a long way since people went to the local barber for bloodletting, but that doesn’t mean it’s perfect. According to a 2016 Johns Hopkins University study, more than 250,000 people die in the United States every year due to medical malpractice. For those who don’t die, these errors can cost them a lifetime of pain and healthcare costs.
Follow these tips to help you, the patient, actively prevent medical malpractice and help you decide if it’s appropriate to file a claim:
Be Aware of the Different Kinds of Medical Malpractice
Medical malpractice is more than a surgeon making a mistake during a surgery. It can include a failure to diagnose your condition, a misdiagnosis, an incorrect prescription, a lack of informed consent, and more.
Medical Malpractice can occur at the fault of doctors, nurses, or any other medical professional that provides you care. If you strongly believe there was a medical error, no matter how big or small, it is important that you do research and contact another medical professional to confirm this belief and get the help that you need.
Be Educated on Your Condition and Health
While it is the medical professional’s responsibility to educate you on your condition, remember that they might make a mistake and miss something. Do research on your condition so that you are aware of the symptoms and treatments appropriate for you. Make sure to use reliable online sources, such as medical journals, or ask another medical professional directly.
Get a Second Opinion
If you suspect a misdiagnosis from your doctor, do not be afraid to get a second opinion. The other doctor will be able to look at your medical records and give their opinion on the original doctor’s diagnosis and treatment plan. Doing this will either give you peace of mind in knowing that you are getting the correct treatment or make you aware of your doctor’s mistake.
Should I File a Medical Malpractice Claim?
If you follow these steps and have reason to believe medical malpractice may have occurred to you or a loved one, then you should consider filing a claim against the doctor or hospital. Like any lawsuit, it’s important to think about the amount of money it will cost, the time it will take, and the evidence and witnesses that you have. But remember, if your doctor has made an error in your case, they could have made an error in other patient’s cases too. Your claim could help start an investigation on whether that medical professional should be allowed to continue providing medical care, potentially protecting others in the future from facing the same problems as you.
Contact a Medical Malpractice Attorney
Filing a lawsuit is scary, especially when you now have to deal with extra medical issues and bills. That’s why you should contact a lawyer to do the work for you. An experienced medical malpractice attorney will be able to tell you the potential costs and time of filing a lawsuit, what evidence you will need, and answer any questions you may have.
Here at Rob Levine & Associates, we have a team of experienced medical malpractice attorneys that are ready to fight for you. Don’t get overwhelmed by the costs and time a lawsuit takes, let us do the work and get you the money that you deserve. For more information on our Fee Free Policy and how to contact us, visit RobLevine.com.