It’s an unfortunate truth that medical malpractice happens more often than anyone would like to admit. Even with the best care, doctors and other health professionals sometimes make mistakes – or even worse, act negligently or recklessly – leaving their patients at risk of harm and suffering. If you or a loved one has experienced medical malpractice, it can be a confusing, challenging experience that leaves you feeling overwhelmed about where to turn for help.
Fortunately, there are steps you can take to ensure your legal rights are protected and that justice is served on your behalf. This blog post will outline six key areas to consider if you have been impacted by medical malpractice so that you know exactly what needs to be done to protect yourself moving forward.
1. Contact an experienced attorney.
After experiencing medical malpractice, the most crucial step you can take is to get in contact with an experienced attorney. The right attorney will assess your situation and advise on what comes next. Having a knowledgeable legal professional in your corner can add much-needed security as you go through the arduous claims process, compare settlement offers and make decisions about any out-of-court settlements.
Fortunately, when you are in need of legal support, many highly qualified attorneys are available to provide the assistance you need. While it may be tempting to dive into the unfamiliar legal waters without help, taking extra steps for preparation and protection is highly recommended — particularly when a doctor’s negligence has had severe physical, mental, or financial implications. With an experienced lawyer’s help, you can ensure your rights are respected along the road to justice.
2. Gather evidence
The proper steps are essential for any legal case. One of your most critical steps will be gathering evidence to support your claim. This includes official records of the medical procedure, photographs of the results (if applicable), and any accompanying medical documentation that may help prove your case.
All this material is critical, as it could constitute valuable proof in court. But remember to store any such documents securely and somewhere accessible to use them opportunely.
3. Seek a second opinion from an unbiased party.
Suppose you or a loved one has experienced medical malpractice. In that case, the most critical action is to seek a second opinion from an independent and unbiased party, such as a specialist or another physician.
Doing your research and finding someone who can offer real answers can give you massive relief in understanding what went wrong and help ensure that it will not happen again. Taking the extra step to find another medical opinion will give you peace of mind that an expert is making essential decisions without interest in the previous outcome.
4. Calculate out-of-pocket costs associated with the malpractice.
If you’ve experienced medical malpractice, financial responsibility isn’t necessarily the first thing you want to consider. Rightfully so. You should be focused on your health and recovery. But you need to do some calculations associated with the malpractice to determine the scope of your losses. They may include out-of-pocket doctor visits and medications, plus, if necessary, any corrective procedures that need to be done to repair damage caused by the incident.
These can add up quickly, such that a full accounting of expenses at this time makes sense. So take a few minutes before proceeding with any other steps to add up these numbers and ascertain the precise amounts you are out – doing so can have tremendous importance later down the line when trying to recoup those costs incurred due to medical malpractice.
5. Become familiar with your state’s statute of limitations.
Familiarizing yourself with the statute of limitations for filing a medical malpractice lawsuit in your state is important because you typically only have a certain amount of time from when the injury occurred – or when you first recognized that something had gone wrong – in which to file your case.
Ignorance of these laws and regulations can easily lead to missing an opportunity to seek justice, making understanding your state’s requirements critical. Each day counts in getting closer to righting the wrongs committed against you.
6. Develop a plan for managing physical, emotional, and financial stress stemming from the incident.
As you begin to seek medical malpractice justice, develop a plan for managing the physical, emotional, and financial stresses associated with your ordeal. Understand that healing is a journey, and you must set objectives and milestones to track on your way to feeling better.
Establish an action plan that includes exercise, self-care, diet, a ceremony to grieve what has been lost, and engagement with support systems like friends and family. It’s also important to be mindful of how much energy you exert to seek resources and advocate for yourself when filing claims – use the same effort to create a path back to health.
Experiencing medical malpractice is an unfortunate reality for many people, and the aftermath can be emotionally and financially taxing. It is essential to arm yourself with critical steps after experiencing this traumatic experience – stay strong during these difficult times and don’t hesitate to use the resources available for help.