We trust hospitals and doctors to take care of us, but unfortunately, this isn’t always the case. Medical errors are in fact the 3rd leading cause of death in the United States. When medical professionals make mistakes, it can affect someone’s life forever.
If you believe that you or someone you love has been the victim of hospital negligence, here’s what you should do.
Understand What Hospital Negligence Is (And What It Isn’t)
Before you can move forward with your claim, you have to understand exactly what hospital negligence is.
Hospital negligence is defined as any case where a doctor or nurse fails to provide a certain standard of care. While the standard of care varies by diagnosis and age, it’s based on what the average physician should do in a given situation.
Not every complication is a case for negligence. Sometimes, a patient’s condition can take a turn for the worse even when doctors do everything by the book. To claim negligence, you need to be able to prove that the medical team failed to take the proper action or acted recklessly.
If you think you have a case for malpractice, the first thing you need to do is take action fast. This is because a hospital negligence claim can only be made within a certain time frame known as a statute of limitations.
In most places, the basic limitation period is 2 years from the date of the injury. This may sound like plenty of time to file a claim, but there are many legal hurdles you’ll need to jump over.
Of course, that doesn’t mean you should act without being prepared, either. It’s best to speak with a hospital negligence attorney to determine exactly how much time you have to file a claim and build your case from there.
Get the Right Legal Help
Handling any kind of legal matter on your own is difficult, but the combination of legal and medical issues involved in a malpractice case makes these situations even more complex. That’s why it’s best to seek legal help.
Medical law is a highly specialized field. To make matters more complicated, every region has its own medical malpractice laws as well. For example, if you live in the Toronto area, you’ll need experienced Toronto hospital negligence lawyers on the case.
An attorney can take the burden of preparing your case off your hands. This will allow you to focus on recovering from your injuries during this stressful time. And because most hospital negligence lawyers work on a contingency basis, you won’t have to worry about paying any legal fees unless they win your case.
Keep Every Document
Keep any documents related to the incident in a safe place. These documents should include:
- Medical records
- Test results/lab reports
- Pictures of your injuries
- Medical receipts
- Doctor’s notes
Take your own notes, too – the more documentation you have, the stronger your case will be. No detail is too small.
Remember, you are entitled to a copy of your own medical records. You do not need to explain why you need them under any circumstance.
Determine the Value of Your Claim
Finally, before you can go forward with your hospital negligence claim, you’ll need to assess the losses you’ve suffered. This is so that you can receive the proper amount of compensation.
These damages will be calculated for you in court. Until then, take note of any extra costs or losses you experience as a result of your injuries. For example, you may have lost wages because you were unable to work. You may have also had to pay additional medical costs to fix whatever issues were caused by malpractice.
Going through the process of filing a medical malpractice claim can be incredibly stressful. No amount of compensation can truly make up for the losses you’ve suffered. But in the end, it’s worth it to seek justice and ensure that what happened to you never happens to anyone else.