No one expects to be the victim of medical negligence, but the sad reality is that it can happen to anyone. It can be a traumatic and confusing experience, made all the more difficult by the fact that you may be facing expensive medical bills and time off work.
Medical negligence can occur in any number of ways, from misdiagnosis or delayed diagnosis to surgical errors or prescription mistakes. Whatever the cause, if you have been injured as a result, it is important to understand you have rights, and there are steps you can take to protect them. So if you or any of your family members have been the victim of what you believe to be medical negligence, here is what you should do to protect your rights:
Hire an Experienced Lawyer
The first step is to seek out experienced legal counsel. This will ensure that your case is handled correctly from the start and that you have the best chance of recovering the compensation you deserve. You want someone local who has handled medical negligence cases before and knows the ins and outs of the process. And since there are so many types of medical negligence, there are also lawyers who specialize in specific areas, such as birth injuries or failure to diagnose cancer.
So if you have suffered a missed cancer diagnosis in Philadelphia, for example, you would want to find a lawyer who specializes in that type of case and how is familiar with local law. Not only will cancer misdiagnosis lawyers in Philadelphia have a better understanding of the applicable law, but they will also likely have a network of local experts who can help build your case. So before you do anything else, find a good lawyer who you can trust to help you through this difficult time.
Gather All Relevant Documentation
The next step is to gather together all of the relevant documentation related to your case. This will include your medical records, as well as any X-rays, MRI results, or other imaging studies. You should also collect any bills or receipts related to your medical treatment, as well as documentation of lost wages if you have had to miss work due to your injuries. If there are witnesses to what happened, get their contact information so that your lawyer can speak with them. In most cases, the more documentation you have, the stronger your case will be.
If the police were involved for any reason, for instance, if the accident happened in a hospital, get a copy of the police report. If there is a police report documenting what happened, this can be used as evidence.
Be Careful What You Say
After a medical negligence incident, it is important to be careful about what you say to insurance companies or representatives of the healthcare provider involved. These individuals may try to get you to give a recorded statement or sign away your rights without fully understanding what you are doing. In some cases, they may even try to trick you into admitting fault or downplaying the severity of your injuries. So you must consult with a lawyer before speaking with anyone from an insurance company or the hospital.
You should also be careful about what you say on social media. Do not post anything about your case or your injuries. Anything you post on social media can be used as evidence in your case, so it is important to be mindful of what you say both online and offline.
Understand the Statute of Limitations
The statute of limitations is the amount of time you have to file a lawsuit after an injury. In most cases, the statute of limitations is two years from the date of the injury. But there are some exceptions, such as for injuries to minors or certain types of injuries, such as birth injuries. So it is important to consult with a lawyer to find out how long you have to file a lawsuit in your specific case.
While it is important to take your time in finding the right lawyer and gathering evidence, you should not delay in taking legal action. The sooner you hire a lawyer and begin building your case, the better. If you wait too long, you may miss the deadline to file a lawsuit or key evidence may be lost.
Consider Settling Out of Court
In some cases, it may be in your best interest to settle your case out of court. This means that you and the other party agree on an amount of money that will be paid to you in exchange for dropping the lawsuit. In most cases, the health care provider’s insurance company will offer a settlement. But whether or not to accept a settlement is a decision that should be made by you and your lawyer after careful consideration
It can save you time and money since you will not have to go through the lengthy process of a trial and there is no risk involved since you are guaranteed to receive at least the amount of money that was offered in the settlement. However, if your case is strong, you may be able to get a higher amount of money by taking your case to trial. So be sure to discuss all of your options with your lawyer before making a decision.
Even though being a victim of medical negligence is a difficult experience, it is important to take action to protect your legal rights. By following these steps and working with an experienced medical negligence lawyer, you can increase your chances of getting the compensation you deserve and hold the responsible parties accountable.