Medical negligence is one of the significant causes of death in America, coming third only after cancer and heart disease. Unfortunately, many patients who are victims of negligence end up bearing the brunt with no idea what to do or whom to turn to. And the few that have thought about pursuing the case are met with immense turbulence along the way, giving up becomes the easiest option.
But the good news is that there are some things that you can do to avoid being part of these statistics – by becoming your best healthcare advocate. One lawyer from Dolan Dobrinsky Rosenblum Bluestein, LLP, a top law firm in Miami, knows better. As one of the best lawyers in the region, he has won some of the biggest medical malpractice awards in the state and offers some valuable sentiments for patients.
Understanding medical malpractice
According to the lawyer, the best place to start is to understand what medical malpractice is. Medical malpractice happens when a caregiver, through omission or a negligent act, causes an injury to the patient. This might be due to errors in healthcare management, treatment, aftercare, or diagnosis.
Determining medical negligence
Having an adverse medical outcome does not necessarily mean you have a case. For a medical malpractice case to exist, there has to be a doctor-patient relationship, negligence that resulted in injury and injury that led to specific damages. You can also prove that medical malpractice occurred when the doctor/caregiver fails to diagnose, issues an improper treatment or fails to warn you about the known risks.
Taking action after a suspected medical negligence
If you suspect that the caregiver was indeed negligent, then it is in your best interest to contact a lawyer. Medical negligence and malpractice cases are often very complex, and you might miss out on an opportunity to receive compensation if you decide to do it yourself. Your malpractice lawyer will review the case, secure critical medical records, interview parties, and determine whether the claim is actionable. Most importantly, he or she will make sure that you work within the statute of limitations so that your case isn’t thrown out.
Lessening the chances of a medical malpractice
As mentioned earlier, there are a few things you can do to lessen the chance that you experience medical negligence. For instance, you can be proactive about your care by performing research to know your medical condition, and note down your signs and symptoms. You should also have a list of questions whenever you seek a medical opinion to ensure all your concerns are addressed upfront. Although the medical system can be intimidating, you shouldn’t let that get the best of you. If you suspect that something is off, then it most likely is. In as much as you have to trust you, caregiver, it is vital to listen to what your body is telling you.
On why some patients choose not to pursue a valid negligent care case, the lawyer added that some patients are worried that their doctor might refuse to treat them once they learn about the case. Others assume that pursuing the case will strain their already tight budgets.