Medical negligence is subpar care that has been given by a healthcare provider to a patient, resulting in injury, his or her existing condition worsening or in some cases, even death. There are plenty of situations that constitute medical negligence like misdiagnosis, improper treatment and the dreaded surgical errors. Medical negligence happens more often than you think and it is always better to equip yourself with the right information so you can better handle it if and when it happens.
How Do You Make a Claim?
If you feel like you have been a victim of medical negligence, you must immediately seek the counsel of your lawyer, who will evaluate the details of your claim to determine if it has a leg to stand on. Your lawyer will also ask if you have evidence of your claim of negligence and will also try to review the requirements of your treatment.
If ever you decide that you don’t want to bring the case to court and just want recognition of the treatment you got and a subsequent apology, you can write a letter to your healthcare provider. In some cases, this can give you closure without the hassles that come with litigation.
How Do You Prove a Medical Negligence Case?
Much like any other case, you need to prove medical negligence with credible and overwhelming evidence. And so, it goes without saying that you need to be able to prove that what happened to you was a mistake that caused damage and harm. To successfully prove a medical negligence case, you will need to procure the following documents:
- Medical records including but not limited to X-rays and ultrasound
- Meticulous statements from the claimant
- Credible and coherent statements from witnesses
- Financial evidence
- Reports from unbiased medical experts
How Much Can You Receive for Medical Negligence?
It will depend on a few elements such as:
- The severity of the injury
- Length of recovery
- Impact on daily life
- Punitive damages
- Inheritance loss
- Loss of earnings
- Loss of projected earnings
- Loss of benefits
How Long Do Medical Negligence Cases Last?
No two cases are the same so the timeframes may differ on a case-to-case basis. But on average, medical negligence cases usually take anywhere between 12 to 36 months to finish. The duration of the case largely depends on the intricacies of the case, the kind of injury you sustained and most importantly, the cooperation of the defendant. The process will go a lot smoother if the other party admits to negligence although that does not happen quite often.
Is There a Time Limit for Medical Negligence Claims?
You usually have three years to file a medical negligence claim from the date your injury or illness was linked to the said error. However, there are some exceptions to this rule.
Do You Have to Go to Court?
Going to court is very much like a trip to the dentist in that it’s an unpleasant experience. That being said, you don’t always have to go to court; in some cases, you can settle with the other party and quickly receive a financial settlement. However, more complex cases do require court proceedings for those to get resolved.
What are the Most Common Surgery Mistakes?
There is a bevy of clinical and surgical error claims, but the most common ones are:
- Failure to detect appendicitis
- Failure to diagnose ectopic pregnancy
- Perforation of the bowel during an abnormal pregnancy
- Hemorrhage after gynecological surgery
- Wrong size prosthesis used in surgery
- Damage to the bile duct following gall bladder surgery
Do You Have Some Health Care Survival Tips?
When it comes to medicines you are taking, you should disclose to doctors every single detail that you possibly can. Whether it’s prescription or over-the-counter medication or vitamins, you should be as transparent as possible. If you had any allergic or adverse reactions to any of these, you should mention these as well. With regards to a hospital stay, you can gather as much information about the hospital and their track record as you can. Make sure to ask anyone you come in contact with if they have washed their hands and during discharge, you should not hesitate to ask questions if anything about the home treatment plan is unclear..