Medical Malpractice in America, according to The Institute of Medicine, causes at least 44,000 Americans to die each year as a result of medical errors. That means that more people die in any given year from medical mistakes than from motor vehicle accidents.
Our firm has worked hard to develop a strong reputation in healthcare litigation. We take a serious approach to the screening of cases with an eye towards the vigorous prosecution of claims of substantial merit. We recognize the importance of assuring that medical professionals are not subjected to litigation where poor results are not caused by professional negligence. However, we will not shrink from our commitment to pursue legal accountability and redress for victims of medical care that falls below the standards the law requires.
Because details can change within your malpractice case, it is imperative that you find a medical malpractice lawyer that has experience handling cases where doctors and medical staff have made clinical errors resulting in personal injury to you or someone you love. Do not rely entirely on your doctors and other medical providers to protect you. They won’t. You must protect yourself.
Steps to protect yourself or others from medical error
Do a little research on your medical provider. You would not buy a car without doing some consumer research.
If you can, bring an advocate to your appointments.
This can be very helpful for any number of reasons. First, they can help take notes. Secondly, if you are sick or medicated, they can help to insure that your needs are addressed and that you understand necessary actions on your part following the appointment. Finally, they can speak up for you when necessary as you may be too sick, groggy or even intimidated by your medical provider to do so yourself. There is indeed strength in numbers.
Keep notes of all your medical conditions and symptoms.
The doctor or other medical provider should keep your medical history and should know it. However, this is a major problem where there is a lack of communication and/or a lack of diligence on the part of the medical providers in maintaining and reviewing these records.
Bring your prescriptions bottles so that your medication and dosage is reviewed and properly prescribed. It is estimated that medication errors alone kill thousands of patients every year. Once you receive your prescriptions, read them to make sure they are right. Review them after you get them from the doctor, review them again with the pharmacist, and finally review the packaging once you have received it.
Keep notes of all meetings with doctors and other medical providers.
It is recommended that you consider tape recording the meeting. The reason for this is not to trap your doctor. You do this so you do not forget what was said. It is estimated that patients will remember 30% or less of what is said at medical appointments.
The one might and realistically should come as a surprise. Unfortunately, it is a very real risk. Make sure you mark your surgery site yourself. Wrong site surgeries, surgery on the wrong organs, removal of the wrong organs are far too common to ignore.
Infections in hospitals have reached near epidemic levels. You need to protect yourself to the degree you can. You should not rely on the hospital or its staff to protect you. Some recommended precautions include regular cleaning of your room and furniture, cleaning of instruments before using them on you, changing sheets every day, making sure that all medical providers and staff wash their hands when they enter the room, and other actions necessary to maintain an infection free environment. Unfortunately, you should not have to do this but even casual observation will show you how important this is.
Educate yourself every step of the way beginning with research on your condition, the symptoms, appropriate medications, possible dangerous drug combinations, and so on. Keep notes and take them with you to all appointments. And back to precaution #1, research your doctor, medical providers and facilities. There are some by whom you simply do not want to be treated.
Even if you feel you are not ready to file a suit, consult one of our qualified lawyers as soon as possible so that you will know your options. We do not charge any fees upfront. In fact, we will only charge attorney’s fees if we obtain a financial settlement for you. If you don’t win, we won’t get paid a legal fee. Call us today for your free case evaluation 1.800.241.9779.