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Published On: Mon, Mar 14th, 2016

Medical Malpractice: A Patient’s Mini-Guide to Rights and Responsibilities

Most people don’t really know what to do when a medical malpractice issue comes up. Did your doctor know better? Could he have done something different? Was it negligence or just an honest mistake? Here’s how to recognize a medical malpractice issue and what to do.

So, What Is It?

Medical malpractice is a situation where the doctor or a medical professional is negligent about your medical care. It’s not an accident. It’s negligence. So, you have to be able to prove that. And, even though nurses and other healthcare providers can be guilty of it, most of the time it’s a physician that’s at the center of every case.

To prove malpractice, you need to prove negligence or fraud that that the negligence was the cause of the injury. If a small mistake was made, but it didn’t result in harm or injury, then you’re more likely to see pigs fly than win a lawsuit against a doctor.

However, if you’re certain that it was a preventable accident, and it caused you serious harm, you’re probably going to win that case. Doctors have insurance for this sort of thing, yeah it’s painful for them to go through, but you shouldn’t let their pain trump yours.

There are certain elements that have to be proven, like an injury or some kind of harm much have occurred. And, that injury needs to be a direct result of that negligence.

In some cases, this is easy to prove. In others, it’s hard.

Scale of Justice photo/DTR via wikimedia commons

Scale of Justice photo/DTR via wikimedia commons

Document Everything

You can’t write down too much. In fact, you should buy stock in Mohawk paper. Keep writing down everything until your fingers fall off. It’s a scary time for you right now, and your probably mentally fragile. You’re about to forget some important detail, or mix it up with your emotions and then twist the situation into something that didn’t actually happen. Courts like facts.

In fact, that’s all they want. And, they will penalize you if you start making stuff up. And, there’s no better way to be forced into telling fairy tales than to try to hold everything about the incident in your head. Get it down on paper.

Be as descriptive as you can about the details of the incident. You can always hand everything to your lawyer and let him sort through it to find the essential details.

Don’t try to edit anything.

Ask questions, even if you think they’re stupid questions. Ask what’s going on and how it all happened. Ask how it will be fixed. Be aggressive until you get answers.

Call a Lawyer

People hate lawyers. But, firms like The Litigator are necessary when you have to take someone to court. No, they’re not your best friend. They’re your only friend.

Make sure the attorney specializes in medical malpractice. Each state has different malpractice laws that affect your ability to bring suit against a doctor. Don’t concern yourself with those laws. Hire a lawyer to figure it out. All you need to do is hire someone’s experience and track record.

Guest Author :

Scarlett Reed is studying medical law and ethics part time on a distant learning programme. A keen writer in her spare time, Scarlett enjoys using her learning to come up with article topics when her mind can’t focus on her half written book!

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