Medical malpractice kills close to 100,000 people in the United States every year. Some estimates claim that it is the third leading cause of death in the country. Unfortunately, however, most people need to get medical care on a regular basis, and it's critical to protect yourself. To avoid becoming a victim of medical malpractice, take a look at these tips.
Choose A Primary Care Doctor
Ideally, you should have a primary care doctor. Some patients only go to specialists or emergency room doctors occasionally as needed. That model doesn't always work because there's no point person in charge of your care.
In contrast, when you have a primary care doctor, they get to know your medical history and your medical needs. Your primary care doctor can refer you to specialists as needed, and they have a better frame of reference for your care needs. That can help to avoid misdiagnosis, prescribing the wrong medications, and similar malpractice issues.
Research Your Care Providers Carefully
When choosing your health care providers, take some time to do some research. Make sure the doctor has the qualifications you need. For example, if you live in a state where certified nurse practitioners can prescribe medications, you may be comfortable seeing a CNP for general care.
However, if you have a serious chronic illness, you may need to see a medical doctor who's a specialist in that type area. Also, read reviews. If other patients have positive things to say about a particular healthcare provider, that's a good sign that they may work for your situation as well.
Find Someone You Trust
There are certain intangible elements you can't measure with degrees or reviews from third parties. You also need to have a good feeling about prospective doctors. Make a few appointments with different doctors, talk with them, and get a feel for who you like best. Trust your instincts. They can help guide you toward the right doctor for your needs.
Be a Partner In Your Care
If something ails you, you may want to research the condition. You don't want to be a backstreet driver, but you do want adequate information so that you can be a partner in your care.
Additionally, the more you know about certain health issues, the more you know about what your care should entail. Medical malpractice is when a doctor or healthcare provider deviates substantially from what other healthcare providers would do in the same situation.
If you are informed about what should be happening or what usually happens in certain circumstances, that can make it easier to resist incorrect advice or to ask follow up questions if you are leery of a certain decision.
Communicate As Clearly As Possible
To give you the right advice and diagnosis, your primary care doctor needs information from you. So that your doctor has the right information, you need to be able to communicate clearly.
When you tell your doctor something, make sure that he or she understands what you are saying. So that you have the best information possible, you may want to take notes on your symptoms.
Follow Up As Needed
In some cases, diagnoses or recommendations change if your situation changes. If your doctor asks you to follow up on a certain condition, make sure that you follow that advice. Failing to go to follow up appointments may put you in a situation where you end up taking unnecessary medications or dealing with other issues.
Contact Legal Help As Needed
If you believe that you or someone you love has been the victim of medical malpractice, you deserve compensation. When you work with a medical malpractice lawyer, they can help you get your medical bills covered, and they can also help you get compensation for pain, suffering, lost time at work, and other expenses incurred as a result of this situation.
To get help now, contact Carlson, Blau & Clemens SC today. We help people throughout Milwaukee and the surrounding area with medical malpractice and other types of personal injury claims.