What should you do if you suspect that you’ve been subjected to negligent care?

What should you do if you suspect that you’ve been subjected to negligent care?

In the U.S., over $3 billion was spent in medical malpractice payouts in 2012. That’s one payout every 43 minutes. If that isn’t alarming enough, the Journal of the American Medical Association cites medical negligence as the leading cause of death in the U.S., only following in the heels of heart disease and cancer, says Forbes. As a patient, that’s really the last thing you want to hear.

Are you a victim?

If a medical provider’s negligence has caused injury or damages to you or your loved one, then you have legal grounds to sue for negligent care. Whether you’re being treated by a dentist or surgeon, they must provide you with the best care possible. As healthcare professionals, they’re bound by law to ensure your care, health and safety.

What are common types of malpractice?

Medical errors kill about 200,000 patients in the U.S. every year. Some of these include errors in diagnosis (delayed or wrong), treatments (late, wrong or refusal by the healthcare provider to offer treatment to patients with no insurance or with seemingly no means to pay) and medication (the wrong kind or dosage).

What can you do?

If you think you or someone you know is a victim, don’t hesitate to get copies of your medical records first. Do this as quickly as possible so your records don’t get misplaced or lost. After the bad or questionable treatment you had, you’re probably going to look for a new doctor as well. You’ll need your records to show them to your new doctor. Keep a journal of what happened. And consult a lawyer with experience in medical negligence cases as soon as you can. A lawyer who already has trial experience will be of invaluable help to you. Someone who understands and knows how the legal system works can tell you what steps to take.

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