When you reach a certain age, going to the doctor becomes more routine than in times past. Naturally, the body begins to age and with aging comes increased medical issues that need to be identified and treated before problems get worse. Obviously, we as medical patients go to our doctors for the proper diagnosis and treatment. We entrust our very well-being to the skills and expertise of a medical professional.
However, what do you do when your health and safety are compromised at the hands of the person you trust the most?
While most health care providers pledge to give the best level of treatment to all of their patients, there are instances in which things can go awry. The Law Offices of Michael Pines, APC, a personal injury lawyer in San Diego, points out that a misdiagnosis, personal injury, or even a breach of doctor patient confidentiality can all be categorized as medical malpractice.
Be that as it may, many patients who are victims of medical malpractice aren’t even aware that they have the right to plead their case and be compensated for their injuries, pain, and suffering. If you believe that your current medical condition or injuries are the direct fault of your health care provider, you do have a right to file suit and have your case heard before the court of law. Below are a few steps on how to get the ball rolling:
Reach Out to Your Doctor
Prior to actually filing a claim it may be ideal to contact the medical professional in question. There are circumstances in which the doctor will admit their faults and complete free services as a means for rectifying the issue at hand. When talking with your doctor you want to have your questions ready so that you as the patient have a clear understanding of what went wrong. If you cannot come to a resolution with the doctor, are not satisfied with the answers that have been provided to you, or are dealing with a matter that is irreversible, then further steps will need to be taken.
Contact the Medical Licensing Board
Every medical professional is required to have some form of licensing in order to practice on patients. If you haven’t found any resolve with your doctor, then speaking with the licensing board may help. While the licensing board does not have the ability to force the doctor to rectify the matter or to compensate you for your injuries, pain, and suffering, they are allowed to assess the matter at hand and issue warnings. They may also be able to discipline the medical professional in question until the matter is resolved.
Contact an Attorney
Unfortunately, not everyone gets the resolution they’re looking for after simply talking with the doctor in question or the licensing board. In these instances, it is best to consult with a personal injury lawyer to determine what your rights are and what steps should be taken next. When looking for the right personal injury attorney, ensure that they also specialize in medical malpractice cases. They will listen to your case and determine whether you have enough merit to file in the court of law. A personal injury attorney may also help to keep you out of court by helping you to negotiate a settlement with the guilty party.
According to insurancereform.com, approximately 300,000 medical patients are injured each year as a result of medical malpractice. While we’d like to hope that our doctors are providing us with the best care their expertise allows, there are circumstances in which this is not the case. If you or your loved one believes they’ve been a victim of medical malpractice, the best thing you can do is take action. Talk with the doctor, licensing board, and if necessary a personal injury attorney, to get the compensation and treatment you deserve to live a long and healthy life.