Top 3 Tips for Victims of Medical Malpractice
Follow these 3 tips to maximize your chances of prevailing in a medical malpractice case.
Speak up.In order to prove that a physician made a mistake, a patient must establish three things: (1) That the physician did or failed to do something wrong; (2) That the physician's action or failure to act caused an injury; and (3) That the injury resulted in damages to the patient. Typically, the physician will deny wrongdoing and disagree with the patient's testimony regarding what occurred. In order to resolve these "he-said, she-said" disputes, lawyers for both sides often rely heavily on the medical records. As a result, it is very important that if you believe you are not receiving adequate care, or that a mistake has been made, that you communicate clearly to the physician and the hospital staff when you have a problem that you believe is not being adequately attended to, or when you believe that a mistake has resulted in some injury to you. This will increase your chances that these things will be included in the medical records, and significantly improve your chances of prevailing in your case.
Comply with the direction of other physicians.After you suffer an injury due to malpractice, you will likely be referred to other doctors or specialists for treatment of the injury. Because you have a duty to take all reasonable action to treat your injury, failing to follow the orders and advice of your treating providers after the injury could significantly impair your ability to recover damages from the negligent physician, who will likely argue that your injuries are partially your own fault if you failed to comply with the instructions of your subsequent treating physicians. Keep your appointments, comply with any restrictions your physician places on you while you are healing, and follow up as instructed.
Consult a lawyer that specializes in medical malpractice cases.Prevailing in a claim against a medical professional for negligence requires familiarity with medical procedures, medical terms, medical records, and an understanding of medicine that is beyond the knowledge of most attorneys. An experienced, specialized medical malpractice attorney will be much better equipped to identify medical errors, to understand and combat the testimony of physicians and experts they hire to defend themselves, and to evaluate damages.