The first thing you should do if you are the victim of medical malpractice is see another doctor for treatment. Then, you can consider consulting with a medical malpractice lawyer to seek compensation from the at-fault party.
Victims of Medical Malpractice Need Medical Attention
There are three good reasons why you should seek medical assistance as soon as you discover that you were the victim of medical malpractice:
- Your original condition may still require treatment: You went to see a doctor for help with some illness, injury, or condition—and, thanks to their malpractice, you probably did not get the help you were seeking. The longer your condition goes untreated, the more serious it may become. Do not delay: get help as soon as you can.
- Malpractice injuries may require treatment: The doctor’s negligence may have caused an additional injury or condition that necessitates immediate care. The sooner you start treating these injuries, the less pain they may cause you in the long run.
- Getting treatment can strengthen your legal case: If you want to seek compensation for your malpractice injuries, you need to establish a link between the doctor’s actions and your suffering. Going to a doctor promptly after discovering the malpractice can prove just such a link and enable your lawyer to use your medical records as evidence against the at-fault party.
For the sake of your health and your legal rights, it is vital that you go to a doctor after any type of malpractice incident.
Some attorneys have access to a network of local medical providers that they can recommend to clients. If you end up seeing a law firm before finding a good medical provider, ask them if they can help you in this regard.
For legal consultation, call (410)777-8960
Hiring a Medical Malpractice Law Firm
The second thing you can do if you are the victim of medical malpractice is to consult with a medical malpractice attorney. Make sure that whatever law firm you choose handles malpractice cases and not just personal injury cases in general.
Many firms offer free evaluations over the phone, which is a good place to start learning about your rights. A law office can tell you if your case really does qualify as malpractice. When you are ready to proceed to the next step and visit the firm’s office, you can ask them about:
- What their fee agreement is like (personal injury firms sometimes agree to charge no attorney’s fees up front)
- What they think of your case and what steps they might take to secure compensation for you
- How they can handle potential challenges with your case, such as if the responsible party refuses to admit fault and pay your damages
You Have a Deadline to File a Medical Malpractice Lawsuit
Why is it so important to get timely legal advice? Each state has its own time limit that restricts when medical malpractice survivors can seek compensation. Maryland, for example, generally allows you five years to file a case, according to Md. Cts. & Jud. Proc. Code § 5-109.
Missing your state’s deadline could mean that you never receive the compensation you deserve for a medical malpractice incident. By consulting with a lawyer soon after the incident (or your discovery of the incident), you are protecting your right to take legal action against the negligent medical professional.
A Medical Malpractice Attorney Can Prove Medical Negligence
Medical negligence can include a variety of errors, but they all stem from a medical provider’s failure to follow the standard of care. Some avoidable medical errors that can lead to a medical malpractice claim include:
- Misdiagnosis: If your doctor diagnoses you with the wrong condition, they may end up recommending treatments that do nothing or that actively hurt you. Meanwhile, your true condition would continue to do you harm.
- Medication errors: Even “safe” medications can injure a patient if they are given at the wrong time or in the wrong dosage.
- Lack of treatment: It is a doctor’s job to take patient concerns seriously. If they dismiss your complaints as “nothing to worry about” without checking to make sure, this could qualify as malpractice.
- Surgical errors: This could mean performing a surgery that was not needed or making a mistake, like ignoring a patient’s clear distress, during an operation.
Filing Your Medical Malpractice Case
Once you have selected a lawyer to assist you with your legal action, you no longer have to play an active, daily role in your case. Your medical malpractice lawyer can take care of everything for you, freeing you up to:
- Concentrate on your physical and mental wellbeing
- Spend time with friends and loved ones who are helping you recover
- Get the medical care that you need
Filing a case for medical malpractice damages typically involves many different steps. These steps may take months or years to complete, depending on the behavior of the liable party and their insurance company. Your malpractice attorney might pursue damages on your behalf by:
- Collecting evidence to corroborate your story: Your medical bills and records, the liable party’s records, and witness statements can all go into your case file.
- Establishing important details of your case: Using the evidence they have collected, your legal representative can demonstrate that your doctor behaved negligently. They can also calculate your case’s monetary value.
- Seeking a settlement from the insurance company: A pretrial settlement is often the easiest way for both parties to end a case. If possible, your attorney can negotiate with the insurer for a fair amount of compensation.
- Seeking a jury award in the courtroom: If negotiations are not an option and your case does end up in court, you can rely on your lawyer to represent you there.
In addition, your personal injury attorney can also be there to support you in your time of need. They can be an invaluable source of advice and guidance as you navigate the legal system.
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After Medical Malpractice, We Can Help
Figuring out what you should do if you are the victim of medical malpractice can be very difficult and stressful. Call Adam M. Smallow at (410) 777-8960 for a free case review today. Our personal injury law firm is committed to helping ordinary people fight back against negligent doctors and healthcare providers.