Medical Malpractice: Moving Forward After an Injury
No one likes going to the doctor’s office. Getting medical care can be difficult and time consuming, and unfortunately, some adults walk away worse off than before they entered the doctor’s office. Each year in the United States, approximately 85,000 medical malpractice lawsuits are filed. These cases may range from prescription mix-ups to wrongful death lawsuits. Although the number of lawsuits filed is quite high, keep in mind that estimates of actual injuries (including injuries of parties who choose not to pursue legal action) is even higher. Some experts believe there may be as many as one million medical injuries in the United States each year. If you or someone you love has been injured by a medical professional, it’s important that you seek legal assistance to ensure you’re able to effectively move forward after the injury. Here’s what you need to know.
First off, it’s important to collect as much data and information about the medical malpractice as possible. Understand that all doctors make mistakes at some point, but this does not necessarily mean the mistake is malpractice. There are strict guidelines that define what qualifies as medical malpractice or even wrongful death, so make sure you gather medical records, photographs, and contact information for potential witnesses who may be willing to speak about what happened. Understand that your attorney was not present when the incident occurred, so it’s vital that you share as much about the situation as possible. Things like the names of medicines, pictures of pills, or even actual medical records can be quite helpful.
It’s also vital that you understand when the issue occurred. For example, if you are claiming medical malpractice due to birth injuries, you need to provide the exact date you gave birth. If you were injured during a surgery, make sure you provide the exact date your surgery occurred. Your attorney needs to have as much specific information as possible, which is why you can’t make a vague claim, such as, “I was injured during an operation I had about three years ago.” Specifics are necessary, especially when it comes to the statute of limitations on these types of cases. The more specific your information is, the more likely you are to have a positive outcome.
It’s also important that when you start medical malpractice proceedings that you avoid speaking about the case to other people. This is very important with any type of legal issue, but especially with sensitive topics such as medical malpractice. Understand that if you speak about the issue with other people, they may receive misinformation or form an underdeveloped opinion that could later cause trouble for you with the case. Let your lawyer be the one who speaks with other people and who interviews them in regards to your case. Avoid posting about the issue on social media or speaking about it casually with friends. One of the biggest reasons to avoid speaking is that sometimes, the more often you tell a story, the more it changes. The fewer times a story is told, the more accurate it tends to be.
When you’re ready to start moving forward with your life and seeking the compensation you need and deserve, speak with an experienced medical malpractice professional who can help you.