What To Do When a Physician Makes a Mistake in Your Treatment
Nurses, doctors, and healthcare providers take steps to ensure you stay as healthy as possible. They closely monitor your reactions to prescriptions and make sure you respond well to treatments. They follow strict hygiene procedures to reduce risk of infection and they record information digitally to improve accuracy.
But even the best of precautions can’t eliminate mistakes entirely. And when these mistakes occur, they can cause you unnecessary pain, suffering, and mental anguish. In some instances, a small error could also cost you thousands of dollars in additional treatment and delay your recovery time, preventing you from resuming work as you would normally. If you think that a physician made a mistake with your treatment, don’t wait and hope for the best. Instead, take action through the following steps.
- Seek Medical Assistance
Your health and safety should always be your top priority. The moment you notice something feels wrong or that the treatment worsens your condition, seek medical help. The sooner you identify the problem, the sooner your physician can correct the error. In many cases, your physician will provide additional services (sometimes free of charge) to guarantee you remain in good health.
If you worry that your current doctor lacks the ability to handle your condition or illness, seek out an appropriate specialist and give him or her your full medical history, as well as an explanation of the recent medical error. Give complete details of before, during, and after the accident so your new doctor can create a new diagnosis.
- Understand Your Injuries
When you understand the extent of your injuries, you have a better understanding of whether to report the incident or file a medical malpractice claim. More importantly, you have the ability to seek proper treatment. Attorney Ramzy Ladah has years of experience representing clients in medical malpractice cases and says that seeking proper medical attention for your injuries should be your first priority. Only when you are adequately treated can you begin to recover.
In general, medical malpractice cases need to lead to specific damages: physical pain, mental anguish, additional medical bills, and lost income or earning capacity. And most claims fall into one of three categories: failure to diagnose, improper treatment, and failure to warn of known risks. So, if you took the wrong dose of a certain medication and suffered a temporary allergic reaction, then you could blame your doctor for the mistake. However, most courts wouldn’t consider the situation as medical malpractice because you didn’t experience any lasting harm.
On the other hand, if your healthcare provider failed to wash his or her hands after dealing with another patient and you suffered an extreme staph infection as a result, you could file for medical malpractice. In this case, the doctor deviated from proper hygiene procedures and you had to pay for additional treatment and medication.
- File a Report
If you suffered lasting injuries because of your physician’s error, don’t hesitate to file a report with your state’s medical board. In response to your complaint, the medical board will investigate your physician’s activity and determine whether disciplinary action is necessary. They may decide to warn your doctor about unsafe practices or suspend his or her medical license.
- Talk to an Attorney
Although filing a complaint with the medical board alerts others to the problem, most boards can’t issue compensation for your pain or suffering. If you wish to pursue compensation, talk to an attorney about your case. With the right attorney, you can gather evidence of medical malpractice and validate your claim for negligence. In many cases, an attorney can even help you settle claims outside of court and avoid any other legal obstacles that come your way.
When you follow these four steps, you create the right environment for a full recovery and pave the way for complete compensation.