Just like anywhere else around the world, the UK has had its fair share of medical malpractice lawsuits, with the average injury compensation amounting to 50,000 GBP. From 2019 to 2020, the NHS recorded about 11,700 cases of negligence brought before them by aggrieved patients. Here are some helpful tips if you are ever a victim of medical malpractice.
- Do not report your case first to the hospital in question
Understandably, this may feel like the most logical thing to do. However, according to legal minds with expertise in matters of this nature, it may not be the right first move. In other words, informing the faulting hospital or the doctor in question may complicate matters. Sometimes, it might be the sole reason why your case got watered down.
As a patient and probably without any legal background, you are most likely ill-equipped to handle complex matters like that. The court may interpret your initial communication with the faulting parties as pretrial notice by informing the doctor or hospital first. Therefore, the best you can do is avoid venting your anger and frustrations and seek the correct entity to speak to instead. That leads to the next point where the legal minds come in.
- Get help from an experienced attorney
It pays to find personal injury attorneys who listen and care. These are legal brains with years of experience in how to manoeuvre the claims and compensation terrain. With a personal injury attorney, you are likely to receive the compensation you will be satisfied with. Moreover, you can be sure that the necessary processes and procedures will be undertaken to arrive at a favourable conclusion. Most importantly, it helps to seek an attorney’s help immediately after suspecting you are a victim of medical malpractice. Waiting too long could be detrimental to your case.
- Keep a journal detailing essential events
When you suspect you are a victim of medical malpractice, keeping a journal can be lifesaving and prove to be a vital tool if you go to trial. Remember to record events leading up to your initial consultation, treatment options, and injuries suffered from the care given, etc. It will help if you record follow-up care after becoming a victim of medical malpractice.
The objective for keeping a journal with detailed information is also to help you remember events just as they happened. The downside is, sometimes, medical malpractice lawsuits can take years to settle. The last thing you want is to forget crucial parts of your evidence while the case is yet to be resolved.
- Switch medical providers
If you remember the first point, you will understand the discussion here. You can ask for a referral since you already know not to inform the hospital or physician directly responsible for the malpractice. As a patient, you have the right to switch health providers either for better care or to seek a second opinion. Once you ask for a referral, ensure to carry out the follow-up care at the new place as soon as possible. Ideally, because of the patient-doctor confidentiality, you can be sure that your new doctor will not ‘rat’ you out.
- Immediately get a copy of your medical records
This is a critical piece of evidence that could help your case in the long run. The tip here is to get a copy of your medical reports as soon as you ask for a referral. You may want to avoid agreeing to pick up your reports at a later date. The wasted time alone could be all it takes to alter your medical reports in their favour. Ideally, immediately upon request, your medical reports can be given to you in two ways.
The first option is to have them sent as an email file. The second option is to request a printout. However, to be on the safer side, it is advisable to request both. Depending on the health provider, a copy of your medical report could come at a fee. At this point, you do not want to refuse to pay for copies of your medical reports.
- Avoid talking about your experience on online platforms
You may be tempted to share your medical malpractice experience on social media platforms. However, the best option is to avoid talking about it before the case is resolved. In some cases, your actions could impact malpractice litigation. Therefore, the best way is to resist the urge to talk about it on social media platforms, email, or a website.
On the contrary, you can only raise the discussion after the case is resolved and you have received your compensation. Even with that, you may be restricted from naming the faulting parties.