After a lot of preparation and months of contemplating, you finally finished your knee replacement surgery. All you have to do is to wait for your wounds to heal, and after that, your life will be back to normal. You can’t wait to attend your activities with your family and take care of other commitments.
After waking up and talking a little bit with your family, you notice that the familiar pain in your knees is still there. You found out that the doctors made the surgery on the wrong knee. Not only is your good knee compromised, but your original problem is not solved. If you’re suspecting that medical malpractice happened during your treatment, consider getting professional help from Utah medical malpractice lawyers.
What Is Medical Malpractice And How Does It Happen?
Medical malpractice happens when a medical professional uses a different method which is not from the standards of his or her profession, and this change caused an injury to his or her patient. The usual cause of injury or death, in some cases, are from negligence or error in diagnosis or treatment. Some happen during the care after the operation.
According to Johns Hopkins University, ten percent of the total deaths in the United States are caused by medical errors. Over 250,000 people are killed by medical malpractice while some suffer non-fatal injuries. People who suspect medical malpractice in their treatment can file lawsuits against the medical professional.
Examples Of Medical Malpractice
Some examples of medical malpractice include misdiagnosis, misreading (or ignoring) laboratory results, improper medication, poor aftercare, disregarding patient history, not recognizing symptoms, and not administering the proper tests. Surgical errors, as well as the wrong site surgery, is also a ground for medical malpractice. You can file a lawsuit if your healthcare provider operated on the wrong knee.
There are those who are immune to medical malpractice depending on the state where you receive your health care. These professionals include nurse practitioners, dentists, radiologists, physical therapists, and doctors practicing in specialty fields. Before you file your complaint, it is important to know the right actions to follow in order to make your case stronger.
Things You Should Do If You Suspect A Medical Malpractice Happened
Go For A Second Opinion
Before anything else, if your condition is not as obvious as the one with a wrong knee operation, it is important to go for a second opinion from a different doctor and a different service provider. It is an important step that should be taken first to correct the medical mistake as soon as possible. This is also important to avoid more injuries and complications.
Request Your Medical Records
Medical records are essential evidence in a medical malpractice case. As soon as you can, you or your representative should obtain a copy of your medical records. This would include medical history, the test results, and the medications which were prescribed to you by your doctor.
Watch Your Health Condition
Keeping a record of your health condition is an important step too, as it can also be used as evidence to your case. It’s a good idea to keep a journal and jot your experience after your treatment. For example, if the doctor put you into a treatment which is unnecessary, and that treatment caused great inconvenience in your life, you can use your experience to strengthen your case. When writing a journal, make sure to be as detailed as possible.
Contact An Expert Attorney
And last but not least, make sure to contact an attorney who is specialized in medical malpractice. Lawsuits for medical malpractice are complex and hiring an attorney to represent you might increase your chance of winning the case. Malpractice attorneys will usually schedule a consultation in order to find out the best course of action for your case. The attorney will also be able to point out additional documents that will help you win your case.
It is also recommended to avoid contact with the health professional or the healthcare provider that gave you the wrong diagnosis or treatment. Instead, let your attorney do all the talking. The hospital’s insurance company will also attempt to contact you, but instead of agreeing, letting your attorney handle matters is recommended. The reason for this is that your words can be used against you, and that might not be good for your lawsuit.