In The Know – Medical Malpractice and Bodily Injury
Today’s world is all about making profits and who can take the lead by making the biggest and fastest gains financially. Literally no industry is safe from this trend, especially the health industry. We often forget that hospitals and clinics must be profitable or they are doomed to disappear. That quest for profits often results in risky and possibly not necessary procedures. Ultimately this less than stellar care could result in permanent bodily injury or even death.
Expenses continue to rise creating a need to lower expenses to ensure profitability. Sadly, often the staff is one of the first places to economize resulting in the reduction of qualified personnel on staff. This leaves those still in place working longer hours with increased stress levels. And that creates the perfect atmosphere for errors.
What can you do to avoid potential bodily injuries and even possible death? Are you at the mercy of others or are there things you can put in place to lessen the dangers? Yes, there are things you CAN do to help. There are three things you put in place that will help dramatically. They are:
Listen. Become a great listener. When the doctor or nurses give the patient instructions, listen carefully to what they tell the patient. Don’t stop there. Also pay attention to any other comments that are made to others in the area. If you have questions and the patient doesn’t speak up, talk for them. Ask the questions. Be sure you, and the patient, fully understand the instructions and observations made. Don’t let the physician or nurse leave the room until you are satisfied that your questions have been answered.
Write. Once the doctor leaves the room, make complete and accurate notes. Watch carefully when the nurses or other medical check on the patient. If you notice any inconsistency or anything that doesn’t jive with your notes, talk to them about the notes you took from the physician’s visit. Keep close watch on what is administered or what care is provided and if it differs from your notes from the physician’s visit, speak up right then and there.
Timing. As is the case with almost everything in life, timing can make all the difference. Over the years the healthcare industry has become just that – an industry. Lobbyists work hard to influence laws offering special protection to doctors and hospitals. One of those special protections is the reduction of time one has to pursue legal action for injuries or death due to medical neglect. It’s called the Statute of Limitations. If you don’t pursue legal action during that designated time period, you will have forfeited your right for any action for that bodily injury or incident…forever.
When should you seek legal counsel? Literally, seek counsel the instant you become aware of anything that you suspect was a result of medical neglect. You will want to initiate a pre-suit investigation. Here’s where your note taking becomes a critical component and can help your case. In addition to your notes, prepare an accurate and detailed chronological history of the injury and the care received. Be sure to include the patient’s efforts to recover from the injury. The more details you have the better.
Your attorney will go over the details of your case and, if in agreement that there appears to have been some medical neglect, they will then proceed with the process of gathering medical records, statements, etc.
Long story short, things happen. The take-away is to not let things happen to you or your loved ones if at all possible. The best proactive way to prevent bodily injury is to be involved & be diligent. Take action if needed.