First steps to take in a medical malpractice case
Written By: Rheingold, Valet, Rheingold, Ruffo & Giuffra LLP
Medical malpractice cases arise when a patient receives improper or inadequate medical care and suffers an injury or worsened condition. Medical malpractice is a suit against the offending medical professional for inadequate care that resulted in an injury. If this occurs to you, here are some of the first few steps you should take after learning about your injury.
First, contact the medical professional that worked with you before filing a claim. You want to understand what went wrong, how and why. If you file a lawsuit before getting answers, you may never get them. Often, you can entirely avoid a lawsuit if you openly talk about the problem. Hospitals and doctors sometimes agree to perform additional services to correct errors.
If the medical professional is unable to help the situation, reach out to the relevant medical board. The medical board is regional and issues licenses to medical professionals. The medical board cannot order the doctor to help you or divulge information, but it can warn and sanction doctors that do not maintain appropriate standards of care.
If you believe you suffered a worsened condition due to hospital negligence, then you may want to contact an attorney. The initial steps can be handled by you, but it is best to consult with a lawyer before you accept any settlements or file a lawsuit. There are myriad issues to consider before you accept the hospital's initial settlement offer or file a lawsuit. You only get one shot to recover damages, therefore, you cannot accept a number that is too low to pay for your future medical needs.