Malpractice: The not-so-new pandemic sweeping the United States at a record pace. Shockingly, the U.S. has a much higher rate of malpractice than any other developed country.
Even more shockingly, according to the National Institute of Health, only 10% of malpractice cases get properly reported and documented!
If you’ve stumbled on this guide, chances are that you’ve found yourself a victim of malpractice – and there are ways you can begin to help your case even now.
Read on to see what three steps we recommend if you believe you have been a victim of medical malpractice.
Things To Do If You Fall Victim To Medical Malpractice
1. Evaluate Your Situation
Your health is perhaps the most personal and privileged aspect of your personal life – and it should be treated as such. You may be feeling anxious or frustrated…this is normal.
Take a moment and look over any relevant documentation from your appointment or procedure. Recount the events, and go through the 4 legal requirements for potential medical malpractice – otherwise known as the “4 D’s.”
Duty: Was this a licensed professional of which you expected a medical service rendered? Was this understood by both yourself and the professional you sought care from?
Derelict: Do you have proof within any form of memory or documentation that there was a clear medical standard that was not applied to your situation?
Bear in mind that this requirement is reviewed by a competent medical professional or equivalent in the field to ensure that the standard was abandoned at the time of the incident.
Direct Cause: This essentially is the court seeking proof that any sickness or consequence you’ve suffered is directly caused by whatever services were rendered by that professional – and not some indirect or underlying cause.
Damages: This is usually one of the easier things to prove, as the court will seek any proof you may have of what you’ve suffered as a result of the care.
2. Gather All Possible Information From All Possible Parties
When it comes to malpractice suits, (and lawsuits in general), there is no such thing as too much information. You never know what may prove helpful to your legal team.
You should check anything available to you – think patient portals, insurance companies, hospitals, clinics, practices, blood work, or any type of test result.
Gather absolutely everything you can in one centralized place to help the process run smoothly and get you started off strong.
Remember that although it may be difficult to get through the red tape in this process, you have the right to know absolutely everything about your care and what services were rendered to you.
Nothing could or should be kept from you as the patient.
Here is a valuable guide from Deluca and Associates, a prominent malpractice law firm, that will give you the tools you need to get this information from your clinician – even when it isn’t easy.
3. Contact Your State’s Medical Board
Although the process for reporting medical malpractice may vary by both your state and the practitioner’s specialty, the fact remains that your state medical board should be one of the first calls you make.
The medical board has plenty of resources and will be able to point you in the right direction – and also has the ability to work with the practitioner on your behalf based on your situation.
This could get you more immediate help as you wait on the courts and legal processes.
If you find yourself affected by medical malpractice, you aren’t alone. Please seek legal and medical assistance as quickly as possible to ensure your case is resolved, and you receive the resolution you deserve.