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Updated by tampatriallawyers on Jul 11, 2018
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5 Steps to Take if You Suspect a Medical Error

Pain, anger, worry, and confusion about what to do next are common emotions people experience when they realize that their doctor or other health care professional may have made a serious medical error. It can be a tough time, and the choices you make need to be made quickly but thoughtfully to obtain compensation and justice for your injuries or losses. But what are the first steps you should take in a medical malpractice case? Here are five steps to take if you suspect a medical error.

1

Keep track of your condition and costs.

A necessary element of a medical malpractice case is proving the nature and amount of damages you have suffered. This can include “economic damages” such as medical bills, lost wages, and other losses that can be objectively calculated. But you may also be entitled to recover damages that are just as real but can be more difficult to prove.

These include pain and suffering, loss of enjoyment of life, loss of support and companionship, and the day-to-day challenges you face because of your injury. Keep track of your expenses, but also keep a diary reflecting your pain and experiences so you and your loved ones can testify – often months or years later – about these “non-economic” losses.

2

Find an experienced medical malpractice attorney immediately.

If you believe you have suffered an injury at the hands of a doctor or hospital, it’s important to speak to a medical malpractice lawyer as soon as possible. The medical knowledge, testimony, and evidence required to prove that your doctor violated their legal duty and that the breach of the standard of care caused your claimed injury can be extremely complex and challenging. The legal hurdles that you must overcome to obtain compensation can be equally daunting.

In Florida and many other states, numerous investigatory steps, including getting reports from medical experts, need to be taken before a claim for compensation can be filed. Pursuing a medical malpractice claim is simply not something you should attempt on your own.

Additionally, time is of the essence. If you wait too long to retain a lawyer and file a claim, you could lose your right to obtain compensation altogether. The sooner you retain a lawyer, the sooner they can move to protect vital evidence and testimony that could prove key to your claims.

3

Tell your doctor.

The problems caused by a medical mistake can be extremely painful and may require immediate treatment in order to prevent a bad situation from getting worse. Tell your doctor what you are experiencing and why you feel a mistake may have been made. They may be willing and able to correct the issue. But if your condition requires extensive rehabilitation, additional surgeries, cannot be remedied, or if your physician is uncooperative, you need to take the next step.

4

Have your attorney conduct a thorough review of your case.

In Florida and many other states, numerous investigatory steps, including getting reports from medical experts, need to be taken before a claim for compensation can be filed. Pursuing a medical malpractice claim is simply not something you should attempt on your own.

Additionally, time is of the essence. If you wait too long to retain a lawyer and file a claim, you could lose your right to obtain compensation altogether. The sooner you retain a lawyer, the sooner they can move to protect vital evidence and testimony that could prove key to your claims.

5

If you need additional medical treatment, get it.

Keep track of your expenses, but also keep a diary reflecting your pain and experiences so you and your loved ones can testify – often months or years later – about these “non-economic” losses. Additionally, if you sustain further damages and/or injuries, be sure to let your doctor know immediately and continue to maintain all related documentation.