All medical procedures come with risk, but in some instances, patients suffer harm or injury due to a healthcare provider’s negligence or incompetence. This distress caused by the doctor’s mistake may have been entirely avoidable.
Fortunately, you can report medical malpractice to receive compensation and to help others avoid the same injury–let’s take a look at what medical malpractice is and how you can report it.
Remember, without proper reporting and evidence, even the best nursing home abuse lawyer can’t help you.
What Is Medical Malpractice?
Medical malpractice constitutes acts of omission or negligence by a healthcare provider that cause a patient’s injury or death. While medical negligence refers to an act that occurs as a result of ignorance on the doctor’s part, medical malpractice often involves awareness of the potential consequences of the omission or action.
Therefore, medical malpractice is a conscious deviation from medical standards causing harm, injury, or wrongful death. The healthcare provider understands that this act or omission may cause unfavorable consequences, but does it anyway.
Examples of medical malpractice include:
- Administering the wrong dosage of medication
- Performing unnecessary surgery
- Being negligent in aftercare
- Giving a late diagnosis
- Leaving foreign objects inside the body during surgery
How to Report Malpractice
Reporting medical malpractice may take the four forms explained below. Here is how you can report it to consumer review sites, the state medical board, your medical insurer, and civil courts.:
Report to a Consumer Review Site
Reporting medical malpractice on a consumer review website can help make other people aware of your experience and ensure that they do not suffer at the hands of the same healthcare provider. Many consumer review websites allow you to share your reviews of doctors or hospitals. You can create an account on those websites to share your experience with their audience.
Report to a State Medical Board
Reporting to a state medical board can help save others from medical malpractice by making the board aware of negligent and incompetent doctors. Reporting to the board may not always guarantee a response, but if a similar complaint is filed afterwards, the board may notice a pattern and apply sanctions.
The process to file a report with the medical board differs from state to state. However, most states require you to fill a form in which you list all people involved (patient, doctor, etc.), the malpractice, as well as the resulting harm or injury. This form is often available on state medical board websites or can be requested through mail.
Report to Your Insurance Company
If your healthcare is covered under insurance, you should also file a complaint with your insurance company. The company may be able to compensate you for accrued damages.
Medical insurance websites may allow you to file complaints electronically through the website or through email. If you are unsure of how to file a complaint with your insurer, contact their customer service to find out.
File a Civil Lawsuit Against Medical Malpractice
Filing a lawsuit against medical malpractice may be the most consequential way to report the incident and can help you recover damages. Here are the steps to filing a civil lawsuit against medical malpractice:
- Read Up on Medical Malpractice Law in Your State
Each state defines a time limit, called the statute of limitations on medical malpractice, within which you can file a civil lawsuit against a healthcare provider for such malpractice. Before filing the lawsuit, you must determine whether you still have time to start a civil case.
Get a Medical Assessment
Before you file a lawsuit, it is important to know whether you even have a case. Getting a medical assessment or “certificate of merit” that states that you have suffered injury or harm due to medical malpractice is critical for winning a civil lawsuit.
To obtain this assessment or certificate, you must consult a physician who will consider your medical history and records to certify whether you have suffered from malpractice.
Consult a Medical Malpractice Attorney
A medical malpractice attorney will help you build and fight your civil case for medical malpractice. This expert will evaluate the merits and weaknesses of your case to present it in a way that helps you receive adequate compensation for your suffering.
Experienced medical malpractice attorneys, such as those at Strom Law Firm, can help ensure you have gathered all necessary evidence and information to prepare the best case possible and ensure you get the compensation to which you are entitled.