If you suspect that you or a loved one has been the victim of medical malpractice:
- Begin documenting what is happening and when. This will help you to explain things to your attorney and other doctors.
- If possible, seek a second opinion or transfer your care to a different physician or hospital – hopefully one who is not a member of the same hospital system as the possibly negligent doctor or hospital. The reason for doing this is simple – the subsequent treaters will document your condition and history and will be focused on treating the problem and not trying to prove that they weren’t negligent.
- Request copies of your medical records – before the doctor or hospital has a chance to edit or alter them. Although we don’t like to believe that this happens, the truth is it does. Sometimes it is blatantly intentional, as when critical lab results are lost or entries or erased or altered. Other times a doctor or nurse will go back and make additions to the records that they think are necessary to explain why they did what they did-or didn’t do. Either way, the earlier you can obtain a copy of relevant records the less chance that this will occur. At the very least it will make it easier to detect the alterations at a later time.
- Contact an attorney who concentrates his practice in the field of medical malpractice litigation.