In 2016, data analyzed by researchers at Johns Hopkins University and published in the British Medical Journal revealed that each year from 2000-2008, more than 250,000 people died prematurely because of errors committed by medical professionals.
That made negligent medical care the third leading cause of death, surpassing deaths attributed by the next leading cause—respiratory disease—by approximately 100,000 annually over that period.
Medical malpractice remains the third-most prevalent cause of death and accounts for a staggering 10% of all deaths from all causes. According to CNBC, other data suggests the number of deaths attributed to medical negligence may be as high as 440,000.
Additionally, thousands of others are injured every year because of medical negligence. So what should you do if you’ve recently become a victim of an egregious medical error?
1. Find a New Doctor or Healthcare Provider
You don’t want to be treated by the same doctor who caused you bodily harm. Finding another doctor or medical professional may be challenging if you live in a rural area. You may have to travel dozens of miles to find another practitioner.
If you or a companion has sustained injuries that are critical and you are unable to be transported to another medical center, you should, if possible, be transported to an ER.
Some people place complete trust in medical professionals and give others the benefit of the doubt. However, if a doctor, surgeon or other medical professional causes you harm in the first place, by no means should you allow them to correct their mistake without getting a second opinion or consulting a medical malpractice attorney.
2. Get Copies of Medical Records
Some people get intimidated asking for medical records, but you have every right to receive copies of your medical records. After you switch doctors or medical providers, your records should automatically be forwarded.
If for some reason your records are not forwarded, you, a family member, or another advocate can contact the office of the medical professional that caused you harm and request that copies of your records be forwarded. Do this sooner rather than later.
3. Don’t Ignore Ongoing Medical Treatment
If you’ve been harmed by medical malfeasance, it may be tempting to skip further treatment. Experiencing egregious medical negligence may even cause post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). However, you shouldn’t have a total mistrust of the medical establishment. And if you still require treatment for an injury or disease, putting it off can have harmful results.
A licensed therapist or psychologist can help you process the fear and anxiety that arises from being a victim of medical malpractice. Receiving cognitive therapy may be fully covered, depending on your health insurance plan.
Keep up to date with all prescriptions and other treatments as well as medical appointments.
4. Seek Qualified Legal Representation
When you have a skilled advocate working on your behalf, you won’t feel like you’re living through the nightmare of a medical malpractice injury alone
The best way to find an expert medical malpractice attorney in your area is Attorney at Law.
At AAL, our nationwide network of attorneys and law firms can match you with a local attorney who has the experience and resources necessary to pursue your malpractice case to its fullest extent.
Our partners focus on the client experience and treat your case with the urgency it needs. Additionally, our partners work on contingency for all personal injury cases. That means if you don’t win, you don’t pay.
Don’t wait. Contact AAL today for a free, no-obligation consultation and begin your journey to better health.