June 22, 2011

When should you contact a medical malpractice lawyer? We at medicalmalpracticelawyers.com get this question asked in many different forms and pretty often. The conversation typically starts with the statement, “I don’t know if  have a medical malpractice claim but…” Some of the callers even seem a little bit apologetic in asking if they have a medical malpractice claim.

We agree with the old adage that the only dumb question is the question not asked. If you are not an expert in the medical field or knowledgeable regarding medical malpractice law, how could you  possibly be expected to know if the medical care you received was timely and proper or if your present injuries and symptoms are related to the negligence of  your health care provider? The vast majority of health care providers who provide bad medical care frequently do not tell their patients that they were at fault for causing them additional serious problems. Some even tell their patients that they were the cause of their own bad medical outcomes (one defense that negligent health care providers often allege when they are sued is that their patient failed to follow their instructions when in fact the instructions were never given or the instructions were confusing or unclear and the patient did not understand them and did not know what questions to ask through no fault of their own).

Negligent health care providers may also act like schoolyard bullies by threatening to withhold their care or drop you as a patient or they may act offended when you ask questions regarding their diagnosis of your medical condition, their plan to treat you, or your treatment options, as if they are in complete control of your body. It is not unheard of for medical records to fail to state certain information regarding your medical care that you know to be the truth or to contain information that you know to be false. The contents of medical records (that is, what is stated in the medical record and what is not stated in the medical record) are often treated by judges and juries as if they were passages from the bible —  not to be questioned or challenged. For example, the medical record may state that the patient complained of a severe headache but may fail to state that  the patient also complained of a stiff neck (which together may indicate a deadly bacterial infection known as meningitis), whereby the negligent heath care provider incredulously points to the medical record that he himself wrote to infer that the patient who suffered serious consequences (or death) is a liar.

So, when do you contact a medical malpractice lawyer? As soon as you have the slightest suspicion that the medical care you received or failed to receive may have been substandard (negligent).  A medical malpractice lawyer can help advise you of how you can preserve or obtain important evidence or support for your claim such as photographs or videos of your treatment or your injuries (such as photos of severe pressure ulcers (bed sores) due to failure to timely and routinely turn and reposition patients who are immobile or who are confined to bed for long periods of time). Medical malpractice attorneys can advise you if certain oral or written statements you intended to make regarding your medical care may have a negative impact on your claim. Your medical  malpractice lawyer may be able to lessen your injuries from medical malpractice by helping to suggest proper and timely medical care. And medical malpractice lawyers can assist you in other ways that  you may not even realize because you may not know the significance of the medical treatment you received or the medical care that you should have received.

Many times medical malpractice lawyers can help answer your medical malpractice questions where the answers may also help you prevent further injuries from medical malpractice. To find answers to your medical malpractice questions, visit our website to be connected to medical malpractice lawyers in your local area who can help you find answers to your medical malpractice questions and to represent you with your medical malpractice claim if appropriate. You may also telephone us toll free at 800-295-3959.