Most would be shocked to hear that the third leading cause of death in the United States is medical negligence. It is estimated that over 200,000 deaths can be attributed to medical errors. These startling statistics bring to light the fact that doctor mistakes are not as uncommon as most would like to think. There are new victims daily here in Oregon and across the country. Here are some things someone who thinks he or she may be a victim of medical malpractice should do.
Finding a new doctor is imperative. This is not only important for treatment of the original condition, but also for treatment of any new symptoms caused by the first doctor’s errors. This doctor should ideally not be a member of the same group or office as the original doctor.
Keeping track of the details is imperative. When someone thinks a doctor has made a mistake, the first thing he or she should do is begin documenting all of his or her symptoms, lab results, doctor comments, medications and any other health-related items. Details become unclear over time, and time frames become confused, so thorough documentation will ensure the facts will be kept straight. All receipts and expenses should also be kept track of so these items can be presented for reimbursement.
In addition to personal documentation, medical records documenting the doctor’s treatment will be needed. A patient can request a copy of these from the doctor’s office. Medical records are crucial in building a case against a physician should the victim decide to do so as they are evidence created by the medical professionals themselves as to what steps were taken in the treatment of the condition.
Seeking the help of an attorney early in the process will be extremely helpful. An experienced malpractice attorney can assist a victim in the steps to take to document the events as they occur, gather the needed information and determine if it does appear medical malpractice has taken place. By following the steps required by Oregon law, a medical malpractice attorney can help a victim seek compensation for all of the damages he or she has suffered and perhaps even prevent the same thing from happening to someone else.