Many Houston residents have likely heard of someone being the victim of a medical mistake. Although many continue to trust doctors, mistakes happen, and sometimes they are quite serious. In order to avoid becoming a victim of a medical negligence mistake there are a few things to keep in mind.
With the rise of medical negligence in the United States, patients should keep in mind some ways to have personal vigilance when it comes to their medical care. First, a patient is their own best advocate. If something doesn't sound right or feel right, it is important that they speak up. Although doctors are always in a hurry, ask as many questions as necessary to make you feel comfortable. In a hospital setting, it is important to question every doctor and nurse that enters the room and ask them what they are doing and why. Second, it can also be a good idea to have another person be the second set of eyes and ears. Another person can listen and also ask additional questions if necessary.
Conducting research on a medical condition and treatments may be worth the time as well. A person's doctor may be recommending unnecessary treatment or you may not be getting all the important information. A second opinion can also be helpful. Doctors all have unique treatment options and one option may be better than the other. In addition, setting up a living will and power of attorney can make sure that a person's medical wishes are honored if they are not able to speak for themselves and are incapacitated.
Despite a person's best effort, a medical mistake can still happen. A legal professional skilled in medical malpractice can find out what happened and get the answers a family deserves. They can investigate medical records and consult with medical experts. Compensation may be available for medical expenses, pain and suffering and other damages.
Source: huffingtonpost.com, "6 steps of personal vigilance to combat rising medical negligence claims", Ashley Wren Collins, April 2, 2015