Medical malpractice occurs when a medical or health care professional is negligent in treating a patient, which results in injury or death. This can include errors made regarding medications that are prescribed or administered, negligence during a procedure or surgery, or carelessness during follow-up care. Standards for care are set in place to protect the patient and when they are not met, the professional may be held accountable. Here are four things you should know about medical malpractice.
First and foremost, you don’t want to be in a bad shape when it comes to your health. Things do go wrong, but it’s always best if negligence can be avoided. Be proactive in your own health matters, and research the professional on whom you are relying; be certain he or she is someone you can trust. Keep track of any symptoms you experience and take the time to understand any diagnosis you receive or details about your health condition. Do not be afraid to ask questions and to expect complete responses. If you feel that something is off, follow your gut and get a second opinion.
If there is a chance that your physician was at fault, the first step is to contact the doctor. It is possible that he or she will take steps to remedy the situation with a correctional procedure or work on a solution for the issue. If the physician is not willing to correct the problem, contact the governing licensing board to inquire about a warning that will be issued and any disciplinary action that can be handed down. Consult with an attorney who specializes in medical malpractice law to see what options are available to you in regards to receiving compensation.
There are statutes of limitations set in place for the filing of medical malpractice suits, which vary from state to state. If you believe you have been a victim of negligence resulting in injury and would like to weigh your legal options, it is best to contact a malpractice attorney immediately to assess whether you have a strong legal case and how long you have to file.
Proving medical malpractice and receiving compensation is extremely difficult. Of the lawsuits filed each year, less than 20 percent result in any type of compensation for the patient or the survivors. Documentation is a must have in regards to damages or injuries incurred, and they must be reviewed extensively by experts in that particular field. An experienced attorney can also assist you in reaching an out-of-court settlement based on the merits of your case.
When you are served by a health care professional, you have every right to expect that standards are met and correct procedures are followed. If you or a loved one has suffered due to negligence or carelessness from a provider, take steps to find out whether compensation is a possibility.