What Should I Do if I Believe I Was the Victim of Medical Malpractice?
Medical malpractice claims can not only be scary—they can be life-changing. Some claims of malpractice are very straightforward, such as where a doctor mistakenly amputates the wrong limb. Others, such as a negligently delayed diagnosis, can be more subtle and harder to identify. Below are some guidelines you should follow if you believe you may have received negligent medical care or treatment from your Alabama doctor.
- Take careful notes
It can be important at trial to establish a detailed and accurate timeline of events. The best way to do this is by taking careful notes as things happen. Take note of the doctors you’ve seen, their advice, when you began a certain course of treatment, when you received a certain diagnosis, and when you received a referral to a specialist.
- Keep all records and results, and request your medical file from your existing doctor
Doctors’ offices are often reticent to turn over your entire medical file even when they do not realize they may have made an error in your treatment or diagnosis, but they may be even more evasive when they suspect that you are considering a malpractice action against them. Request a copy of your complete file, but do not state that you’re requesting it because you’re considering a lawsuit. While you may not recall everything that has happened along the course of your treatment, try to see whether it’s complete and includes all test results, scans, and notes from appointments you’ve had.
- See a different doctor for a second opinion
As soon as you can, seek out another doctor’s opinion of your treatment or condition. It’s not necessary to tell the second doctor that you are wondering if you have a malpractice claim; seeking second opinions is a common enough thing to do that no additional explanation is necessary. The second doctor’s opinion should hopefully give you a better idea of whether you should continue to pursue your claim.
- Hire an experienced medical malpractice attorney as soon as possible
Most importantly, find an attorney who understands the complexities of litigating medical malpractice claims. Since medical malpractice claims involve many technical issues, you need someone who can competently investigate and zealously present your claim in court.
If you believe you may have been a victim of medical malpractice, contact an Alabama attorney who has years of experience litigating malpractice claims. Call the Mobile Law Office of J. Allan Brown, LLC, at 251-473-6691.