Every so often, people go to the hospital for different reasons. It may be for a general checkup or sometimes for treatment of severe conditions. Most of the times the condition is diagnosed, treated and normalcy resumes in a few days. Unfortunately, there are times where persons leave hospitals worse off than they were going in. To make matters worse, this can happen as a result of the negligence of health care providers.
According to a Johns Hopkins report, medical errors are the third-leading cause of death in the US attributing to over 250,000 deaths in a year. In the case of medical negligence, the victims should be compensated.
In the event someone suspects that they are a victim of medical malpractice in Brooklyn, it is essential that they seek the counsel of a malpractice lawyer to guarantee fair compensation.
Medical negligence comes in different forms that many people are sometimes not aware of. Here are the instances where patients can sue doctors for malpractice:
• If the treatment rendered was wrong- A patient can have grounds to lodge a malpractice claim.
This may be unprofessional conduct or even wrong prescription of drugs. At times, mistakes are made during medical procedures which leave victims with lifetime complications. Lawsuits are also applicable if the doctor administers the right treatment incompetently.
• When the doctor fails to diagnose a condition- The time at which diseases are diagnosed greatly affects the extent to which they can be treated. Late diagnosis can result in severe outcomes, increased medical bills or even preventable deaths. If a doctor fails to diagnose or misdiagnoses a patient, they may be liable for a lawsuit by the victim.
• Unconsented treatment- Doctors should not perform any procedure without the permission of the patient. In the event the patient is not in a position to authorize a medical procedure, consent should come from the closest relatives.
• Failure to disclose potential risks- If a patient suffers from side effects that they had not been warned about when receiving treatment, they can sue the health care provider. Medical practitioners have a duty to disclose any risks that a course of treatment poses to the patient.
Steps to Take In case of Medical Negligence
The statute of limitations on medical malpractice lawsuits ranges from six months to two years depending on the state. This, however, does not mean that there is a lot of time to file lawsuits. It is crucial that victims of negligence act swiftly to ensure that they get favorable outcomes. The following are immediate steps you should take.
Seek Professional Advice
It is easy for a patient to be unaware that they are a victim of medical negligence. In case you suspect it has happened, you should first seek the opinion of another medical practitioner and then a medical malpractice attorney. This will help give them perspective. Raising your concerns to a second doctor will help ascertain the validity of your claims. Expert opinion will also be necessary if the lawsuit gets to court.
Gather the Evidence
Court rulings are always based on what can be proven. It is therefore vital that all the evidence concerning the case is compiled quickly. All the data about the patient’s medical history will be crucial. It is also vital that patients record their thoughts and version of events as well as any advice they get from other medical practitioners. Any pain or suffering that resulted from the incident should also be recorded.
Hire a Solicitor
After receiving both medical and legal advice, you should hire a medical malpractice attorney in your pursuit of justice. It is essential to hire a lawyer who is specialized in such matters. After reviewing your account of events and evidence collected, a Brooklyn malpractice lawyer will be able to determine the best course of action.
Benefits of Hiring a Lawyer for Your Lawsuit
They Have Experience Dealing With Insurance Companies
It can be extremely stressful dealing with insurance companies during the malpractice claim. The goal of the insurance company is to reduce the payout as much as possible or even invalidate your claims if possible. They will try to find inconsistencies in your statement or anything that will work against you.
These companies have professionals who handle such cases daily. Negotiating with them for a fair settlement might not be possible for an inexperienced individual. A medical malpractice attorney will handle such negotiations and guide you on what to say when meeting with insurance company representatives.
Accurate Valuation of the Claim
The value of lawsuits varies based on the extent of damage and level of negligence involved. Victims are likely to be unaware of the real value of their claim. They may end up accepting compensation that is a fraction of the real value of their claim. Insurance companies will pounce at such an opportunity to reduce the amount of the payout. With experience in such matters, a lawyer will be able to know the true value of the lawsuit. This will be essential when negotiating with the insurance company.
Reduced Burden and Stress
Medical related lawsuits are always stressful as the plaintiff was the victim or they are filing on behalf of a deceased or severely injured relative. For either scenario, hiring a lawyer will ensure no more stress is piled on you or your loved ones.
The attorney will also conduct a thorough investigation of the matter. This will involve reviewing statements from the accused as well as looking for witnesses or other victims who might prove the negligence of the accused. A Brooklyn malpractice lawyer will also present your case in a court of law in case an out of court settlement cannot be reached with the insurance company.
If medical malpractice can be proven, you may receive compensation for the following reasons:
• Physical pain
• Mental Anguish
• Additional medical bills that result from the carelessness
• Lost income and earning capacity
Lifetime complications or sometimes death can arise from medical negligence. In such instances, it is important that victims take action as soon as possible. Hiring a lawyer to handle the case might be the difference between having your case dismissed or getting fair compensation.