Nobody likes going to the hospital. It is full of sick and injured people. Waiting to be seen can take forever. If you are there because you are suffering from an urgent medical issue, you have many things to worry about, including an unexpected hospital error.
That is right. As if going to the hospital was not scary enough, the doctor could make a mistake and cause you to suffer a serious injury. Some patients even die from medical malpractice.
Surely that is not the news you want to hear, but it is the truth. Whether you are in the hospital for an unexpected emergency, a scheduled surgery, or a routine procedure, you should be aware of the risks you take when you enter the hospital so you can be fully prepared.
Most of us trust medical professionals to help us feel better when we are sick or injured, but doctors are human like the rest of us, and they do make mistakes. The emergency room is full of high-stress cases, and errors are especially common. What should you do if you do happen to experience a hospital error? What legal rights do you have? Here is what you need to know.
Get a Second Opinion
You may hear this a lot, but should you really get another doctor’s opinion? Yes, definitely. Medical malpractice is a tricky area of law. Just because you think the doctor neglected you or made a mistake does not necessarily mean it is so. If you feel like you did not get the medical care you needed, it is always a good idea to get another doctor’s opinion. It is possible the original doctor made a mistake or did not fully address all your medical issues. If the second doctor can confirm the medical malpractice or neglect, then that strengthens your case should you decide to file a lawsuit.
Request Access to Your Medical Records
If you decide to file a medical malpractice claim, you will need evidence. Your medical records are a strong source of evidence. You can use these records to prove that a medical error occurred. Plus, by getting access to them as soon as possible, you can reduce the risk of a doctor hiding or changing information to alter data and hide liability. While this is illegal, it does happen.
Hire an Attorney
If you decide to file a medical malpractice claim, you will not want to do it on your own. Filing a medical malpractice lawsuit is very complex. Even with legal representation, it will still be difficult. Work with an experienced personal injury attorney who has a background in medical malpractice cases. They will reduce the risk of mistakes that could hurt your case. A lawyer will give you the peace of mind you need to move forward and recover. However, the statute of limitations for medical malpractice is just two years, so find a lawyer sooner rather than later.
Tips for Medical Malpractice Victims
Here are some other tips for those who have been a victim of medical malpractice:
- Keep a journal. It is important to have an accurate account of everything relating to your medical condition, and a journal can help with that. You will want to note when your symptoms occurred and when you suspected something was wrong. A journal can also be used to keep track of all of your medical appointments as well as all expenses you have incurred.
- Stay off social media. If you have been a victim of medical malpractice, you may feel like venting to others. Avoid doing so. The doctor’s legal team will be poring over your social media accounts to see what you are posting in hopes of catching you in a lie. Do not discuss the case with anyone except your lawyer. Do not post anything about your injuries online. It can all be used against you in court, so it’s best to just stay off social media for a while.
- Help your lawyer. Medical malpractice cases are tricky. Courts often rule in favor of the medical professional, so you need to do whatever it takes to build your case. Do what you can to help your lawyer establish your case. If they need medical records or witnesses, provide what you can. Do not hide any details about what happened or how you are feeling. The best thing you can do is be upfront and honest. If you lie, it is just going to make everything worse.
Contact Us Today
A trip to the hospital can be a scary experience. You never know what to expect, and a medical error can really throw you for a loop.
Medical malpractice is common in hospitals, especially in the emergency room, where pressure and stress are high. The experienced team at Brill & Rinaldi, The Law Firm, can evaluate your case and guide you appropriately through the next steps. To schedule a free consultation, call (954) 876-4344 or fill out the online form. We have offices in Weston, Coral Gables, and Daytona Beach.