No-one likes the idea of something going wrong at the hospital or on a trip to the doctor’s. The media might exaggerate how incorrectly libellous people might be, but don’t let that distract from the reality. Negligence and medical error can have a disastrous effect on the lives of those impacted. Work, family and our finances can suffer greatly. It is by no means unreasonable to expect that you should be able to do something about it. This article is a guide on how you can.

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The standard of care

The thing that needs to be established in all cases of medical negligence and malpractice is the ‘standard of care’. Was a reasonable standard of care achieved? What is it, exactly? Essentially, it’s the level of treatment and type of care that a trained professional should be able to provide. It’s a nebulous term, but depending on what you were treated for, some research should point to what the specific standard of care should be.

Did you consent?

Did a particular treatment or kind of procedure came as a nasty shock? Have you found yourself in a situation you weren’t consulted about? You could have a strong case. Informed consent is incredibly important in medical law. The practitioner needs to ensure that you have fully consented to any treatment with full knowledge of what it meant.

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Keep a personal medical record

If you are undergoing a long period of treatment or are often in need of visits to the doctor, you should keep a personal medical record. Of course, medical practices are required by law to turn over any records in cases regarding malpractice. However, it’s important for you to also keep these records. Know how you have been treated, when and what for. Being armed with the right knowledge makes all the difference in cases of malpractice.

Getting a second opinion

If you believe you have not received the treatment you should have or that something has gone wrong, you don’t have to sit on uncertainty. A second opinion from another doctor can clear things up for you and let you know where you stand. A third or fourth opinion works just as well. It can be a great way of proving whether that standard of care has been met.

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Getting legal advice4

Do you believe you have undergone treatment you didn’t provide informed consent for? Or that you weren’t given a reasonable standard of care? Then it’s time to seek legal advice. A hospital errors lawyer could the option to use if you want someone who specialises in cases like yours.

5Taking care of yourself

It’s important that you give the right time and attention to your recovery. This is especially true after you’ve suffered from malpractice or negligence. If you’re recovering from a serious injury, understand what you’re dealing with and whether you need rehab. Keep control of a good diet and listen to your body. Finally, keep yourself busy. Being off your feet for too long can lead to stress or depression, so give yourself something to do.