When we’re sick or injured, we turn to the doctors who have spent their lives learning how to heal the sick. However, in recent years, medical errors have become the third leading cause of death in the U.S., only after heart disease and cancer. According to U.S. News and World Report, nearly 250,000 deaths occur every year as a result of medical errors.
While not every error is preventable, and despite most doctors taking every precaution, you may still become a victim of medical error. This can leave you concerned for your health, angry at the mistake, and frightened by the possible consequences it could have on your future. If you or someone you love becomes the victim of a medical error, here are the steps you need to take to ensure you get the compensation you deserve.
Seek Medical Help
If you’ve been injured by a doctor’s mistake or negligence, it is crucial that you immediately seek medical treatment from a different physician. A different doctor may be able to improve the medical error if the problem is identified early. Look for an appropriate specialist who can treat the specific injury due to medical malpractice, making sure to provide them with your full medical history, including the circumstances surrounding the medical error.
Your medical records are the single most crucial factor in determining a doctor’s error. It is vital for you to provide your new physician the correct and thorough information to ensure that your charts accurately record your health following the medical error. Make sure you give a complete picture by explaining what your health was like before, during, and after the error.
File a Report
If you believe you’ve been injured due to a medical error, you will want to file a report with your state’s medical board. When you file a complaint against a physician, it starts the process of an investigation into the claims by the medical board. However, the chances that your complaint will result in disciplinary action is small. In fact, of the personal injury lawsuits that are filed every year, only 15-percent involve medical malpractice, and of those suits, more than 80-percent end with no payment to the victim, according to Jason Konvicka, a guest contributor for Forbes.
However, this shouldn’t stop you from filing a complaint. When you file a complaint against the doctor that injured you, you can alert future patients of the doctor and his suspect practices. By making future customers aware of unsafe practices, you can save them from falling victim to medical malpractice.
Hire an Attorney
While an attorney isn’t necessary for every possible medical malpractice situation, seeking the advice of a qualified medical malpractice attorney can help you in filing a report and a lawsuit against the negligent physician if you chose to go this route. When determining which attorney to hire, the single most important factor to look at is the attorney’s reputation, to ensure you receive the justice you deserve.
Dealing with medical errors can be scary and frustrating. Knowing what to do in the event that you are injured due to a physician’s negligence can help you get through the process and back to your life.