As patients, we trust in our doctors when it comes to preventative care, diagnosis, treatment, and so much more. Unfortunately, if they make an error in our medical care, it may be difficult to recognize before the consequences become severe.
Medical malpractice is a major problem in Connecticut, New York, and throughout the United States. If you suffer from substandard care, Ventura Law is here to help.
10 Steps to Take If You Believe You Have a Medical Malpractice Case
If you believe that you or a loved one suffered injury due to medical negligence, here are 10 steps you can take to help protect your legal rights:
1. Avoid Speaking with Your Healthcare Provider
Some online articles suggest that you discuss the issue with your doctor – noting that your provider may offer an apology and provide additional treatment for free. However, we do not recommend this approach. Should you return to a doctor you later sue for malpractice, the defense may present this as a sign that you are exaggerating your claims.
2. See a Different Doctor
Instead, at this point what you should really do is see a different doctor. You need to obtain appropriate medical treatment, and you should go to a specialist who has significant experience in your area of need.
At Ventura Law, we work closely with specialists throughout Connecticut and New York who are experienced in treating patients who have suffered illnesses, injuries, and complications due to medical malpractice.
3. Collect Your Medical Records
Medical records tell the story of your overall health, including the impact of a doctor’s negligence. Make copies of all scans, test results, prescriptions, bills, and other documentation you have from the provider you believe committed medical malpractice, and get in the habit of keeping any records you receive from your new doctor as well.
4. Learn More about What it Means for a Healthcare Provider to Commit Medical Malpractice
“Medical malpractice” is a broad term that encompasses many different types of medical mistakes. We have compiled a list of 10 questions you can use to gain a better understanding of your legal rights.
5. Make Sure You Still Have Time to File a Claim
In Connecticut, the statute of limitations for medical malpractice cases is two years. This two-year period runs, “from the date when the injury is first sustained or discovered or in the exercise of reasonable care should have been discovered.”
Generally, the statute of limitations in New York is 2 years and 6 months from “the act, omission or failure complained of or from the last treatment where there is continuous treatment of the same illness, injury or condition.” There are a few exceptions, however, under New York law:
- 2-year statute of limitations on cases involving misdiagnosis of cancer
- 1-year statute of limitations on cases arising from a foreign object being left inside a patient
- 10-year statute of limitations for malpractice injuries that occur when the plaintiff is a minor (with the exception of cases involving cancer misdiagnosis and foreign objects outlined above)
- 2-year statute of limitations on wrongful death claims arising from medical malpractice
In many cases, determining when the statute of limitations expires can be a challenge. As a result, we recommend that you speak with an attorney as soon as possible.
6. Follow Your New Doctor’s Medical Advice
Once you see a new doctor, you should be sure to follow his or her medical advice. Not only is this the best course for your health, but it increases the likelihood that you will be justly compensated for your injuries. The defense will struggle to present evidence that your actions contributed to or exacerbated your condition if you abide by a prescribed care plan.
7. Take Notes
As you cope with the effects of your doctor’s error, it is a good idea to take notes. Each day, track your prescriptions, your doctors’ visits, any time you miss from work, and any other impacts on your day-to-day life.
8. Keep the Details of the Case to Yourself
When you have a medical malpractice claim, it is important to keep communications about the case between you, your lawyer, and trusted members of your family. In addition to avoiding any communications with your previous healthcare provider, this also means not discussing your case with friends or coworkers. It is also a good idea to stay off of social media.
9. Avoid Making Assumptions
When you have a medical malpractice claim, it is important not to jump to conclusions about how your life may be affected by a doctor’s error, the compensation to which you might be entitled, and other important details. In order to protect your legal rights and maximize your financial recovery, you need to make informed decisions based on the advice of an experienced medical malpractice attorney.
10. Discuss Your Situation with a Medical Malpractice Lawyer
If you have a medical malpractice claim, you will need to hire a lawyer to help you recover just compensation. At Ventura Law, we provide free initial consultations, and we represent all of our medical malpractice clients on a contingency-fee basis.
Schedule a Free Consultation with a Medical Malpractice Lawyer
Medical malpractice is a complex area of law. During your initial case review, our attorneys will seek to understand the situation you and your family are facing and discuss your legal options. Should you decide to hire Ventura Law, we are always available to answer your questions, discuss developments in the case, and more.
Call us at (203) 800-8000 or fill out our confidential form to get started. Ventura Law serves clients in Danbury, Bridgeport, and nearby areas of Connecticut, as well as New York.