The last thing anyone wants to deal with after suffering from an injury is to have to deal with the stress of filing a lawsuit. Unfortunately for anyone who has to bring a medical malpractice case, that’s exactly what needs to be done. Since medical malpractice is an overall traumatic experience for any victims involved, it is beneficial to follow the proper steps in filing the lawsuit, as it can eliminate some of the initial stress of the case.
Understand what medical malpractice is.
Medical malpractice occurs when a patient suffers from an injury caused by a doctor’s negligence. A doctor can be negligent when they fail to provide their patient with the proper standard of care. Medical negligence can lead to a variety of serious injuries, ranging from temporary injuries, permanent injuries, or wrongful death. This type of negligence can also take place under many different circumstances, including surgical mistakes, improper patient care, misreading of medical charts, misdiagnoses, and more.
In order to establish medical malpractice, a victim needs to be able to prove that the four elements of negligence have been met. These elements include that the medical professional owed a duty to the patient, the medical breached that duty, the patient suffered an injury and that the injury was a result of the breach of duty. If you believe that you or a family member can satisfy those four elements, it is likely you have a strong medical malpractice case. However, if you are uncertain, or if you think you might not understand the medical terminology being used by the negligent doctor, it is still a good idea to seek advice from another medical professional and an attorney.
Seek medical advice from a different physician.
One of the first things you should do if you suspect medical malpractice is to seek medical treatment from a new doctor. Having a different doctor asses your medical conditions and suspected injuries will help you determine whether you are in fact a victim of medical malpractice. Physicians will be able to recognize whether your injuries were the result of medical malpractice, and they will not only provide you with a proper treatment plan, they will have crucial medical records to provide to an attorney as well.
Making phone calls to various medical offices and discussing your situation with each medical secretary will allow you to determine which doctor and healthcare facility will be the best to meet your needs. The medical secretaries will then request your medical records and medical reports from your previous physician to allow your new doctor to provide you with an adequate assessment. Medical secretaries are trained to help patients in various positions and have a deep knowledge of medical terminology that can help you understand your medical reports more thoroughly.
Collect your medical records.
You should collect all of your medical records as soon as possible in order to ensure that they are not lost within a potentially negligent healthcare facility and to give an attorney proper evidence that you may be the victim of medical malpractice. You may obtain these records by simply making phone calls to any clinics, hospitals, or facilities at which you’ve been a patient, and the medical secretaries will compile all of your patient information to provide to your lawyer. Sometimes this will mean getting your hands on a number of spreadsheets and electronic medical records so that you can provide them for the law firm you hire. Whatever it takes, remember that more information is better, so don’t be shy when asking the medical secretaries that you’re speaking with to help you get your medical records.
Seek an attorney.
Once you’ve received a second medical opinion and have obtained your medical records, you must seek legal advice from an attorney who specializes in health law and medical malpractice. These attorneys will compile and review your medical history, medical bills, insurance company records, and more, so it’s important to provide your attorney with any records they may need. The better prepared your attorney is for litigation, the more likely it is for you to be successful with your lawsuit and to receive the settlement negotiation you deserve.
If you’re in the New York area and believe that you are the victim of a medical malpractice case, Howard Fensterman is a renowned J.D. in the state of New York who specializes in health care law and medical malpractice cases. Mr. Fensterman has a great deal of experience in the field of public health law and can ensure that you are properly compensated for your injuries and that justice is served to the negligent party.