Victim of Medical Malpractice? Here's What To Do To Protect Yourself.
Victim of Medical Malpractice? Find out if you have a case in this short article.
Despite reports of frivolous medical malpractice lawsuits, any medical malpractice attorney in Chicago or elsewhere will tell you to be cautious. It’s difficult to win malpractice cases and the costs of losing are astronomical, so filing a lawsuit is not something to be done lightly.
In an article from CNN, the following statistics were revealed:
- According to the Kaiser Family Foundation,10,739 medical malpractice claims were paid in 2009 out of more than 85,000 suits filed annually.
- Statistics from the Bureau of Justice show that plaintiffs won less than a quarter of the trials and on average, plaintiffs received $400,000.
What can you do if you suspect a loved one has been a victim of medical malpractice?
First, figure out if you have a case. To do that, it’s best to see a medical malpractice attorney in Chicago. In the same CNN article, a personal injury lawyer, Moseley Collins, was interviewed. He outlined the most important things when deciding if a client has a case or not.
Was it a "known risk"?
When you have surgery, you sign a form that acknowledges potential risks. For example, a certain side effect may be said to occur in 10 percent of patients undergoing an appendectomy. If you present with that side effect, it’s unlikely you have a case. You can still win a 'known risk' medical malpractice case, if you have a lawyer who knows how to do it.
Were you healthy before the procedure?
If you suffer from obesity or you’re a smoker, and you experience complications it’s harder to prove the doctor was at fault. If, however, you’re healthy and a low-risk surgery caused permanent damage, you’re might have a case.
Have you recovered?
Even if an error was made, winning the case is going to be difficult if you’ve since recovered. It’s far better for your case if you require ongoing care because of the alleged malpractice.
Did your treatment meet the "standard of care?
This is the question that most cases center around. It’s about whether your doctor did something that was clearly a violation of their duty.
While the questions above provide a rough guideline, you’d be best served seeing a medical malpractice attorney in Chicago. The Law Offices of Scott D. DeSalvo specializes in medical malpractice cases, among other practice areas.
What To Do If You Think You’ve Been A Victim Of Medical Malpractice
These cases are very nuanced, so the things you say and do in the lead up to bringing a suit may hurt your chances of success. With that said, if you’re still searching for a Chicago medical malpractice lawyer, there are things you can do that won’t hurt your case.
We’ll take you through a few steps you can safely take if you think you’ve been a victim of medical malpractice.
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Document as much of your interaction with your doctor as you can
Medical malpractice suits are stressful situations. What’s more, lawsuits can take years before they go to trial. This means your memory may be foggy by the time you have to answer questions.
Documenting the names of your caretakers, dates and times of treatment, types of treatment, etc. can all be helpful to jog your memory.
Don’t be afraid to ask questions if things don’t go as planned
Doctors and nurses are professionals, so it may be intimidating to ask questions. But they’re also human. They do make mistakes. Find out what went wrong, why things are happening and how they plan to make things right.
Doctors and nurses may be defensive, especially if they have made a mistake. However, you’re entitled to answers about your health.
Obtain medical records
Just like you’re entitled to answers to your questions, you also have a right to a copy of your medical records. In most states, hospitals and doctors are required to provide a copy of medical records at a reasonable cost.
Again, they may be defensive or make things inconvenient, but you’ll get the records you need if you’re persistent.
Try not to tip them off
You don’t want doctors and hospitals to think you’re considering filing suit. They may go to such lengths as hiring a private investigator to follow you, which they’re legally allowed to do. They’ll work to uncover evidence to discredit your claim.
Call a Chicago medical malpractice lawyer
We mentioned this in the beginning, but it bears repeating. Medical malpractice is nuanced and one wrong step can endanger the legitimacy of a claim.
Call the Law Offices of Scott DeSalvo at 312-500-4500 to schedule a free initial consultation if you are a victim of medial malpractice. with a Chicago medical malpractice lawyer today.