DO NOT STAY QUIET.
Maybe you’re embarrassed about the disappointing results of a doctor’s treatment. You pride yourself on not being a “complainer.” You don’t want to bother the doctor. You listened as the doctor told you that the results of your surgery were not as good as they should have been because of a “complication” that was nobody’s fault. You’ve gotten several different stories from the doctor, the hospital staff, a nurse–all trying to explain how you, your spouse, your child, ended up with a bad result. But somehow, you’ve got a nagging feeling that something went wrong, and that no one is being 100% on-the-level with you.
That’s a good time to start talking. See what your friends think. Check in with folks in the healthcare field that you know–nurses, home health aides, orderlies, physical therapists, even doctors.And if you’re still not satisfied, reach out to a medical malpractice lawyer like me, if you’re close by, and to someone in your area if you’re not.
THE CLOCK IS ALWAYS RUNNING.
If you think something went wrong, you may be right. It may be something that was nobody’s fault, and it may be something caused by a doctor, nurse or other healthcare provider who failed to pay the proper attention to what he or she was doing when they were attending to you. But you have to find out sooner rather than later, for two reasons. First, there are strict time periods for bringing medical malpractice lawsuits, and if you miss yours, you’re out of the box forever in most cases. Second, the sooner you make use of the evidence in your case, that is, for example, medical records, the testimony of witnesses, the more powerful it will be in the prosecution of your case. If you wait, people move, records could be “misplaced,” and the memories of key witnesses become dull. The quality of your case may suffer.
USE YOUR FRIENDS AND FAMILY.
If you know you’re going to have a serious procedure or surgery performed, take a trusted person with you, during the appointments leading up to the big day, and during the big day itself. Ask them to take notes for you about what the hospital staff tells you and does for you. You will probably be too nervous to remember everything later on, in case something does go wrong. Let a friend or relative take on that burden, so you can focus on understanding what is happening to you, medically.
Bottom line–do not stay quiet on the sidelines if you have any suspicion that you’ve been the victim of medical malpractice. Start talking, and keep talking until you’ve got an idea about how to proceed. I’m always happy to help, and you’re welcome to call or email me.