How to Avoid Becoming a Victim of Medical Malpractice. Medical errors can and do happen frequently—just how frequently is a matter of much debate. In some cases mistakes occur, and it’s not the health provider’s fault. But when the care you’re provided doesn’t meet a generally acceptable “standard of care”, that’s considered medical malpractice. Here are some tips to prevent you from becoming a malpractice victim:
- Do Your Homework. Before choosing a doctor or healthcare facility, check references, and recommendations. Check for special certifications and any complaints at docinfo.org. Read about medicines you’ve been prescribed, and be able to discuss those medications knowledgably with your doctor. Don’t just take your doctor’s word about your condition, research it, along with potential causes and treatments. Learn as much as you can to stay informed through your treatment.
- Pay Attention, Speak Up, Ask Questions. Clear communication is a key to avoiding malpractice. Be attentive and watch out for things that don’t feel right. Don’t feel intimidated or uncomfortable with your doctors or the medical jargon they use; ask questions (or seek clarification) and insist on answers. Bring a written list of questions to make sure you don’t forget any.
- Bring a loved one or friend. Someone who can provide a different, more objective perspective can help you ask questions you might not have thought of, take notes, think through important decisions, weigh treatment options, and make sure the medical staff is looking out for your best interests. If you’re undergoing a procedure that will leave you incapacitated, give someone you trust Health Care Power of Attorney to oversee your care while you’re unconscious or sedated.
- Seek a Second Opinion. A misdiagnosis is one of the leading causes of malpractice. A second opinion is your right, and no physician should object. It doesn’t mean you distrust your doctor, but rather than you’re being smart and responsible. Even if a second opinion only confirms the original diagnosis, a different doctor may offer a different option for treatment.
If you believe you or a loved one has been a victim of medical malpractice, call us for a free consultation. You have a right to expect medical professionals to do their jobs without causing harm, and we’re here to help. The Cochran Firm Midsouth. Just call 901-523-1222!