Did you know that preventable infections, medication errors, falls, and other preventable harms that take place in hospitals claim the lives of around four hundred thousand Americans every single year?
Even the most dedicated professionals can make mistakes. When they do, the consequences can be life-altering, if not deadly. In these circumstances, it is crucial to speak with a medical malpractice lawyer.
But how do you know when it’s the right time to pick up the phone and schedule that appointment? To make things easier for you, we’ve written a guide. Keep reading if you’d like to find out more.
Know What a Medical Malpractice Lawyer Does
A medical malpractice lawyer specializing in cases where patients are injured or harmed because of negligence. These lawyers understand the complicated relationship between law and medicine.
If you’ve been injured or have a loved one who has died, these types of lawyers might be able to help you navigate through a potential malpractice lawsuit.
Severity of the Condition
Consider the severity and impact of your injury or condition. Did it result in significant harm? This harm could include anything from physical pain and unexpected medical bills to loss of earnings.
If the harm is serious and has profoundly affected your life, then it might be time to seek legal advice.
Remember, the judicial system will not deem all bad outcomes to be a result of medical malpractice. Since medicine is not an exact science, doctors are not guarantors of a specific result.
This is why you’ll need to have a clear understanding of what constitutes medical malpractice. Understand that it generally involves a healthcare provider failing to meet the ‘standard of care.’
Understand the Statute of Limitations
Each state has specific rules called “statutes of limitations.” These rules limit the time frame within which you can file a malpractice lawsuit.
The countdown typically starts from the moment the malpractice occurred, or when you first became aware of it. In some states, this can be as short as one year.
The statute of limitations in states could be several years. If you don’t file your claim within this period, you might lose your right to pursue legal action.
Speak With the Doctor Involved
It is not a good idea to seek legal help until you’ve spoken with the doctor who is involved. During this meeting, take time to discuss your concerns.
They might be able to offer clarity about what went wrong. It is even possible that they will resolve the issue. Being open and honest about your worries will help the doctor to understand your perspective.
You will also gain clarity about whether or not it is a good idea to proceed with a legal case. Keep in mind that it is essential to approach these conversations with calmness and strategy.
Your goal should be to get clarity. It will not be helpful to aggravate the situation.
Get an Evaluation From Another Doctor
If you’re thinking about filing a medical malpractice lawsuit, it’s a good idea to get a second opinion from another doctor. They can help you decide whether or not the ‘standard of care’ was breached during your treatment.
In the majority of malpractice cases, you need to have a ‘certificate of merit.’ This certificate shows that your injuries were probably caused by medical negligence.
A medical professional who works in the same or similar field as the one you are considering suing will need to provide you with this certificate.
This expert will perform an independent evaluation for the purpose of verifying whether or not your case has legal standing.
Mistreatment that Leads to Death
Mistreatment that results in death is a serious matter. If you feel that negligence or a preventable error caused the death of somebody you care about, it might be time to find a wrongful death attorney.
These cases often fall under a “wrongful death case.” A skilled lawyer can help you understand your options, understand the potential for a wrongful death settlement, and advise you on the best course of action.
Lack of Communication
In order to properly manage your health condition, you need to work with a healthcare provider who dependably communicates with you. If your provider is unresponsive or dismissive of your concerns, consider legal consultation.
A lawyer can guide you on whether the communication failure can be considered negligence.
Complications from Surgery
Surgery inherently carries risks. Complications can even occur when a healthcare provider is offering you the utmost care.
But if a complication is a result of a surgeon’s mistakes or improper postoperative care, it might be a good idea to file a malpractice claim.
If you’ve been misdiagnosed, you might have a case for medical malpractice. An attorney can help decide whether the misdiagnosis was due to a violation of the standard of care that the medical community expects.
Hospitals need to have adequate staffing in order to offer the best possible care for their patients. If you feel that the medical facility that you attended did not have enough staff, reach out to a lawyer.
Contacting a Medical Malpractice Lawyer
It can be challenging to figure out whether or not it is time to reach out to a medical malpractice lawyer.
Before taking action, take time to familiarize yourself with what a medical malpractice lawyer does. You should also make sure that the statute of limitations has not passed.
It is an especially good idea to speak with a lawyer if you suspect medical negligence if a healthcare provider has offered a misdiagnosis, or if they have failed to communicate vital information with you or a loved one.
Do you want to find out more about medical malpractice? If so, make sure to visit the Health section of our website.