attorneys for malpractice

5 Critical Steps to Take After Experiencing Medical Malpractice

Everyone trusts medical professionals to provide safe and effective treatment, but in the worst-case scenario, medical errors do occur. If you believe that you or a loved one has been a victim of professional negligence, it can often feel overwhelming to know what to do next—especially if you don’t have the professional help of attorneys for malpractice.

While we grieve for you in this difficult time, there are five critical steps you should take after experiencing medical malpractice.

1. Document the Incident

The first step after experiencing medical malpractice is to collect and document all the relevant information about the incident. This includes:

  • Copies of medical records and patient charts
  • Dates and times of appointments
  • Any medications or treatments prescribed
  • Photos of any visible complications
  • Names and contact information of medical professionals involved

Professional attorneys for malpractice will need this information to build a strong case on your behalf. Keep a copy of all the documents for yourself as well.

2. Seek Medical Attention

While it may seem counterintuitive after experiencing medical negligence, seeking medical attention is important for your physical well-being and legal case. See a different doctor or specialist for a second opinion on your condition and treatment plan. This will also provide additional documentation of the injuries or complications caused by the malpractice.

3. Contact Attorneys for Malpractice 

Medical malpractice cases are complex and require the expertise of professional attorneys who specialize in this area of the law. Contact a reputable firm to ensure your case is handled properly, compassionately, and effectively. If you’re unsure how to find a qualified practice, look for these key qualities:

  • Experience and success handling similar cases
  • Positive reviews or testimonials from past clients
  • Willingness to provide a free consultation

4. Preserve Evidence

In addition to documenting the incident and seeking medical attention, preserve any physical evidence you can that relate to the malpractice. Keep these items in a safe and secure location to prevent any tampering or loss:

  • Medical devices or equipment used during treatment
  • Prescribed medications or drugs that caused harm
  • Clothing or personal items affected by the negligence (e.g. a damaged prosthetic)
  • Witness statements or testimonies from family, friends, or other medical professionals
  • Photographs or videos of visible injuries or complications

5. Understand Your Rights & Options

An experienced attorney for malpractice can help you navigate this complex and often emotional process, but it’s also beneficial to educate yourself on the laws and regulations surrounding medical negligence. You may have the right to compensation for the following damages:

  • Medical expenses (past, current, and future)
  • Lost wages or income
  • Pain and suffering
  • Emotional distress
  • Loss of enjoyment of life

As far as potential legal options, you may be able to file a medical malpractice lawsuit or settle through mediation. Discuss these options with your attorney to determine the best course of action for your specific case.

Remember: Informed Consent Forms Are Not a License For Malpractice

We see this now and again—people are hesitant to call a lawyer to investigate whether they have a valid medical negligence case because “I signed an informed consent document.” 

Here is the reality: When you sign an informed consent document at the hospital or the doctor’s office, you are not giving someone a license to commit medical negligence. The informed consent document is not a “medical malpractice free pass.” The law is quite clear: No one can consent to substandard care, no matter how self-serving and one-sided the informed consent document may be. You cannot consent to careless treatment. It is not legally possible to do.

It is true that patients may acknowledge, in a properly written consent form, certain unavoidable, unpreventable risks of surgery or medical treatment. Certain types of postoperative infections are generally considered to be unavoidable. The risk of damage to a structure or nerve or blood vessel during surgery may be considered a “known” risk of the procedure. That’s fine—but the doctor who renders the treatment or does the surgery still has to follow the standard of care. If you get an infection after your surgery, the doctor still has an obligation to recognize it, treat it, and aggressively work to protect you. 

For example, the risk of bowel perforation is generally considered to be a known risk of abdominal surgery. (In most cases, there are exceptions.) But any surgeon must carefully monitor the patient after the surgery for any sign of infection or perforation. The standard of care requires the surgeon to carefully evaluate the patient after the surgery for any signs of infection or unusual postoperative bleeding. If the doctor allows you to go home and you become septic, you may well have a solid negligence claim. The informed consent documents are not going to protect the negligent surgeon or the negligent hospital. 

Reach Out to G. Eric Nielson & Associates for Attorneys for Malpractice

No matter how complex or confusing your case may seem, our team at G. Eric Nielson & Associates is here to help you seek justice and fair compensation. With over 20 years of experience in handling medical malpractice cases, we have the knowledge and resources to fight for your rights. 

Contact us today for a free consultation and let us help you take the critical steps towards closure.