Helpful Tips - What to Know About Medical Malpractice
A malpractice claim exists if a medical provider’s breach of the standard of care causes injury or harm to a patient. However, experiencing a bad outcome isn’t always proof of medical negligence. So to, a medical provider waiving fees, isn’t always proof a medical negligence. Sometimes, a subsequent provider will inform a patient that the person has received negligent medical care from a previous doctor. This also does not mean that a medical malpractice case exists. The patient should, however, investigate further and speak with an experienced medical malpractice attorney as soon as possible.
Act fast. If you believe you are the victim of medical malpractice, contact a seasoned medical malpractice attorney sooner rather than later.
If you believe that you or a loved one has suffered medical neglect, contacting a recognized malpractice attorney should be the first step. The attorney should conduct a thorough review of the file before moving forward. This includes a review of medical records and speaking with the patient and family if need be. Given the complexities of medical malpractice litigation, the case should be thoroughly vetted from the outset.
Statutes of limitation—deadlines by which a lawsuit must be filed or be permanently barred—differ from state to state. For example, in Texas the statute of limitations is two years from the date of the neglect. Just as the statute of limitations varies, the procedural requirements that must be met before a medical malpractice lawsuit can be filed, also vary from state to state. By way of example, in Texas, notice requirements must be satisfied, and expert reports must be provided within a certain time from filing suit. It is important to contact an attorney well versed in medical malpractice as some of these procedural requirements if not met, can prove fatal to your case.
Patients should take charge of their medical care.
In effort to avoid being a victim of medical malpractice or to lessen the damage caused by medical neglect, patients should take control of their medical care. Be proactive. If possible, research a doctor prior to using them. What have other patient’s said about them in online reviews? Check with the medical board of the state in which they are licensed. For example, in Texas, patients can go to the Texas Medical Board's website, http://www.tmb.state.tx.us/page/look-up-a-license, to do research on their doctor and learn if any complaints have been filed or sanctions have been issued.
It is also easy to be overwhelmed by the medical system. Especially when there are serious injuries and long-term care involved. Do not be intimidated. Speak up and advocate for your well-being. If you are not able, try to have someone with you. A family member or friend who can advocate on your behalf, ask questions, and take notes of conversations and care. If you feel something is wrong, address it. Often medical providers suffer from tunnel vision and may ignore signs and symptoms that don’t fit their idea of what is happening. Speak up!
Don’t be afraid to protect your rights if you believe there has been medical malpractice.
Patients often choose not to not to pursue valid medical malpractice claims as they fear they will not receive adequate treatment. Or that it will increase the cost of their medical care. There are plenty of doctors and medical providers who will care for you without regard for litigation. Additionally, you should not give up your rights or bear the financial burden of another’s neglect.
Legislation has greatly changed the landscape of medical malpractice litigation. Patients may find it difficult to find an attorney willing or capable of handling their case. As a result, act as soon as possible to begin looking for an attorney. If you or a loved one has been the victim of medical malpractice, contact Chelsie King Garza for a free consultation today.