What to do when you think you are a victim of medical negligence?
Doctors are the ones that we should trust the most when it comes to our health and wellbeing. They have the necessary knowledge, skills, and training to help us overcome illnesses or injuries. However, unfortunately, even doctors can sometimes make mistakes. Yet, their mistakes can permanently change the lives of their patients for worse forever. Thus, under no circumstance, medical malpractice should be ignored especially because it can tear apart the lives of the victims.
If you have recently been under a treatment or suffered a surgery which’s results have only made your health condition worse, you should consider that you have been the victim of medical malpractice. Read on to find out what to do when you suspect that you have been a victim of a mistake of your doctor.
Defining medical malpractice
Medical malpractice can be defined as a mistake of a doctor or other health care professional who does a mistake through omission or a negligent act. The act of medical negligence causes an injury to the patient that has lifelong consequences. While usually medical malpractice is associated with a failed surgery that often causes the death of the patient or is ineffective in curing their condition, it can take many forms of negligent acts. Sometimes the signs and symptoms of medical negligence are visible straight away but sometimes they may occur after a certain period of time.
Common types of medical negligence
- Misdiagnosis or delayed diagnosis Misdiagnosis and delayed diagnosis are medical errors that involve the failure of the doctor to offer the patient the correct diagnosis and treatment for their condition. Due to that, the condition of the patient becomes worse and often leads to life-threatening or fatal consequences.
- Inadequate treatment Inadequate treatment sometimes occurs in relation to misdiagnosis. However, sometimes, although the doctor finds the correct diagnosis, they fail to recommend the correct treatment for the condition. The wrong treatment can either be ineffective or worsen the condition of the patient.
- Surgical mistakes Surgical mistakes are the most common medical errors that occur due to their complexity. Moreover, they can be the most dangerous to the patients because very often they have fatal consequences. Surgical errors occur when a doctor uses non-sterile surgical instruments, when they administrate the patient the incorrect amount of anaesthesia, forgetting surgical instruments inside a patient’s body or failing to offer adequate care after the surgery.
- Negligence during childbirth or prenatal care-Becoming a parent should be one of the most fulfilling and exciting experience. However, the joy felt by the new parents can sometimes fade when their doctor does a medical error. Most medical errors related to birth injuries are the ones regarding prenatal care. When the doctor fails to offer adequate care to the mother and her unborn baby, birth injuries that can be fatal or have lifelong consequences occur.
Seek medical support from another doctor
Medical malpractice can have a huge negative impact on the health condition and wellbeing of the patient. Thus, if you think that you have been the victim of a medical error of your doctor, the very first step is to seek another doctor. Your health should be your top priority so you need to make sure that a medical professional will provide you with the right treatment. The second doctor can help you determine whether or not you have been a victim of medical negligence and provide you with the right medical treatment for your condition.
Ask for legal advice
When justice is made, the patients feel a sense of relief that helps them overcome the psychological trauma they have suffered a lot easier. Unfortunately, despite being a victim of negative life-changing medical errors, many victims don’t seek legal advice because they mistakenly believe that errors are supposed to happen or fail to recognize the fact that they are victims of medical malpractice. No win no fee solicitors explain that some patients wait too long before seeking legal advice which makes the statute of limitation expire. Thus, victims need to contact a professional medical negligence solicitor as soon as possible when they suspect that they have been a victim of a medical error. If you think that you have been a victim of medical negligence, do not hesitate to ask for legal advice and support from a professional solicitor.
How to prove medical negligence?
Medical negligence can sometimes be difficult to prove especially when there is no physical evidence to show it. In order to prove that you have been a victim of medical malpractice, you need to provide evidence that will support your claim. You are going to need evidence such as medical records, statements, witnesses including medical experts and your loved ones, and a detailed statement from you explaining every detail of your situation. Provide your medical negligence solicitor with every detail, whether or not you consider it is relevant, in order for them to construct your valid case and prove the relation between the medical care and the consequences that have occurred.
Take care of your mental health
Being a victim of a medical error that has lifelong consequences can be a traumatising and terrifying experience. Most patients experience severe depression and anxiety when they find out that their lives are going to be completely different from now on. Moreover, the emotional trauma of being let down by a doctor that you have trusted to provide you with the right treatment for your health condition can seriously impact your mental wellbeing. Thus, the recovery process after being a victim of medical negligence implies taking care and improving your mental health. Surround yourself with your loved ones and ask for their help and support. Understand and accept all the emotions that you are feeling and look for healthy ways to cope with them. Moreover, do not hesitate to ask for professional therapy from a specialist to help you cope and overcome the psychological and emotional trauma more easily.
The editorial unit
The medical and legal information is not advice and should not be treated as such.