Medical malpractice can be a very daunting and scary idea. However, this is not something that we should be worried about when deciding whether or not to seek medical care. Doctor-patient relationships are ultimately built on trust. Patients trust the doctors and medical teams to treat them and act within a medical standard of care. Unfortunately, this standard is sometimes breached, leaving patients further injured or ill. While some of these cases cannot be avoided, there are some tips to keep in mind when interacting with a doctor or medical professional in order to decrease the risk of negligence.
Do Your Research
One of the most important things that a patient can do in order to avoid working with a negligent doctor is to research their doctor before working with them. While sometimes doctors with a clean record breach the standard of care, it is often done by medical professionals that have made these kinds of mistakes in the past. When looking for a doctor, ask about their past. Have they been sued before? Was the lawsuit successful? How many times have they been legally involved in a medical malpractice case? These are all questions that a patient can research or ask about before choosing to work with a doctor.
Once you have narrowed your choices down based on the doctor’s records, you can begin to do research into the doctor’s experience. How much experience does this doctor and their team have working with specific injuries or illnesses like yours? Have they done this type of procedure before? Are they specializing in this type of practice? If the doctor and their team have a lot of experience being successful with patients in similar situations, you can feel more confident moving forward.
Do not sign any waivers without completely understanding them.
Once you have begun your doctor-patient relationship, there are a few more steps that you can take in order to better avoid a medial malpractice incident. Before any major surgery or treatment, there will be a lot of forms and papers that you will be asked to sign and fill out. This step in the process should not be taken lightly. Every form should be read carefully. If you are not careful, you could sign away a legal right without knowing it, making it more difficult to sue for medical malpractice if the situation arises.
Do not withhold information.
Doctor-patient relationships are built on mutual trust. While the patient trusts that the doctor is doing everything that they can to treat them in the appropriate manner, the doctor trusts that the patient is telling them all of the details about what is happening within their body. Withholding information from your doctor can cause very big problems in the future. If the doctor does not know everything about your body, they cannot safely begin treatment. For example, if a patient does not tell a doctor about a specific medication that they are taking, the doctor could prescribe a medication that can cause harm when mixed with the existing drugs. It is important to tell your doctor everything that is happening with your body.
Choose your doctor based on your needs.
Oftentimes, people find themselves choosing their doctors based on cost or their insurance company. However, your body does not have a cost. Going to a medical facility just because it is cheap or it is the only one that your insurance company will cover may lead to negative outcomes in the future. Your body is irreplaceable, so there should be no shortcuts taken when choosing a doctor. Going to the cheapest or most convenient doctor can often lead to mistakes or negligence, further leading to medical malpractice claims. Make sure that you are choosing to work with a doctor based on what is right for you, your body, and your illness—not necessarily your wallet.
Even with these tips in mind, medical malpractice can be unavoidable. We cannot control our doctors. If you have found yourself in this type of situation, one of the most advisable things to do is contact an experienced medical malpractice attorney. The lawyers at Finney Law Office, LLC spend every day working with injured individuals, and we want to help you return to normal life. Contact us today.
To learn more about medical malpractice, continue exploring our medical malpractice guide.
Medical Malpractice Guide:
- Medical Malpractice Guide Homepage
- What is the standard of care?
- Who can medical malpractice lawsuits apply to?
- How to Avoid Medical Malpractice
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