Deciding if it is Malpractice

deciding if its malpracticeWhen you go to a doctor, you expect to get better, not worse. Sometimes doctors make the situation worse. Sometimes the doctor causes a problem. This is called “iatrogenic” in medical terms.

If you think something went wrong, the first thing you need to do is talk to the doctor. You need to understand what happened and why it happened. If it was an honest mistake, the doctor should be willing to take the steps to make it right without charging you.

Some states have laws that won’t let doctors charge for mistakes or for correcting those mistakes. Medicare no longer pays for preventable conditions once a person is in a hospital. Some insurance companies have the same policy. If they don’t pay, neither should you.

If a real problem exists and you can’t get the doctor to agree to help, it’s time to step up to the next level. If you’ve been hurt by a doctor, you need to talk to us. We’ll look at your situation and give you an honest opinion about what you should do next.

Here’s what we will do:

• Make sure you can file a claim. Malpractice cases do have a statute of limitations. We first need to make sure this has not expired and then find out how much time you have to file.

• Make sure of the merits of your case. We may need to send you to another doctor to get an expert’s professional opinion. Some states require a “certificate of merit” before you file a claim. We’ll help you take care of this, if necessary.

• Make an initial offer. We’ll reach out to the doctor and his insurance company with an offer to settle the case without going to court. Before we make this offer, we’re going to explain everything to you. You tell us if the request is worthwhile. You have to remember if the settlement is accepted, that means the matter is over as far as the insurance company and the doctor are concerned.

• Press your case if the offer is rejected. Sometimes the insurance company and the doctor will agree to settle. Sometimes they won’t. If they don’t, you and our attorneys will discuss your case again. We’ll head to court if necessary.

What you need to do:

Keep detailed records of everything that happened. We need to know why you went to the doctor and what he proposed. You need receipts for everything you spent, including travel costs. Keep track of any pain and suffering you experience. If the problem has limited your activities, we need to know that too.

If you need more advice or are just not sure, contact us.

Call the medical malpractice attorney  at Lipschutz & Friedman today  (267) 256-0660.

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