Medical Malpractice: How to find out if your healthcare were negligent?
By VSCP LAW
Many people who suffer from a medical injury often wonder, “Was my medical treatment negligent?” Read on to understand the basics of medical negligence and what you should be on the lookout for if you think you received negligent medical treatment.
Medical negligence (also known as medical malpractice) means that the person who is supposed to provide medical treatment to you makes mistakes in doing so. Sometimes it’s more than one person who is at fault. Sometimes it could be multiple people who commit medical negligence. It could be, for example, multiple doctors as well as the nursing staff, the hospital administrators, pharmacists, etc.
As to how to find out if your medical treatment was negligent, a simple internet search won’t answer the question. In fact, there’s really only one way to know for sure. You have to first contact an experienced medical malpractice attorney who will undertake the following critical steps:
- Interview you. Your medical malpractice attorney needs to understand the whole picture: your condition before you sought treatment, the conversations you had with the medical professionals, the diagnosis, the treatment plan, the medicine, etc. If the medical malpractice attorney believes that you may have a valid medical negligence claim, they will ask you to sign a contingent fee agreement which is where the attorney represents you initially free of charge. In the event that the case settles or receives a winning verdict, the attorney takes their percentage fee out of the funds that the defendants paid as a result of the settlement or verdict. Your attorney will also ask you to sign a form that authorizes the law firm to review your medical records.
- Obtain records. You may think obtaining medical records is something you’d be able to do easily on your own. In fact, it can often be hard for a client to know what to specifically ask for when requesting their records from a doctor’s office or a hospital. And often, the medical provider doesn’t give all the records in their possession. This is why you need an experienced attorney. Your attorney knows what to ask for and knows when the production of medical records is incomplete. In the case of incomplete records, sometimes the attorney has to involve the court in enforcing the medical provider to supply all of the requested records.
- Review records. Once your attorney is able to collect your records, they will review your records which may include health summaries, hospital notes, prescription slips, lab results, and all other necessary paperwork to fully understand the actions (and sometimes inactions) of the health care staff who may have been responsible for the medical mistake. It takes an experienced attorney to know how to analyze piles and piles of medical records. And it takes an experienced attorney to know which pieces of evidence are key to the success of the case.
- Find an expert. Your medical malpractice lawyer needs to find an expert to certify to the court that the treatment you received was indeed negligent. But it’s not just enough for your attorney to hire any old medical expert. In fact, you’ll need a medical expert who practices the same field of medicine as the medical provider who harmed you. For instance, if your injuries occurred during gastrointestinal surgery, your medical malpractice attorney will likely discuss the case with an expert who is a gastrointestinal surgeon.
In sum, an experienced medical malpractice attorney will help you understand if your medical treatment was negligent. Find one at VSCP Law.