TOP 5 THINGS TO DO WHEN YOU HAVE BEEN A VICTIM OF MEDICAL MALPRACTICE
- Find out what happened. Ask the doctors what happened, why it happened, and whether it could have been prevented. When serious medical errors occur, more often than not, hospitals and doctors do NOT honestly, completely, or clearly disclose or acknowledge those errors. They are more concerned about the financial impact of a serious medical malpractice case. Because of this, you may be hearing a lot of noise, but not actually getting a lot of answers. So if you are in this situation, be polite, but assertive. Keep asking “what happened” and “why”, and gather as much information as possible.
- Take pictures. When there is a serious medical error, it is important to document the patient’s condition and injury as well as any important information that may be in the patient’s room. Take pictures of the patient to document the injuries, and take pictures of anything that may provide helpful information about the situation such as the hospital room, medications that are running in an IV, and signs on the door.
- Get an autopsy, if possible. When there is an unexpected death, it is important to get an autopsy. An autopsy will help you and your attorney understand what happened and help you thwart any baseless excuses that the defendants may try to argue in a case. Sometimes the state (that is, the GBI) or the hospital will perform one. If they choose not to perform one, you have the option of getting a private autopsy, although it is expensive. If the state or hospital will not perform an autopsy and you cannot afford one, do not worry. We may still be able to prove your case. So do not hesitate to contact us.
- Get the medical records. You will need to get a copy of the (1) certified (2) complete and (3) electronic medical records in a PDF format. The electronic medical records from a hospital should only cost you approximately $6.50. If you don’t specify that you want an electronic-PDF copy, the hospital may try to provide you a paper copy and charge you an expensive rate. So be sure to ask for an electronic-PDF copy of the medical record on a disk or jump drive or have it emailed to you.
- Hire an experienced GEORGIA medical malpractice lawyer. Medical malpractice cases are very difficult cases to win. Although many lawyers advertise for medical malpractice cases, many do not have the experience or expertise to handle these cases competently. Additionally, there are many out-of-state law firms that advertise here in Georgia so it is important that you hire an experienced medical lawyer who only practices here in Georgia who knows the laws, the local rules, the defense lawyers, the insurance company representatives, and the judges. If you hire an out-of-state lawyer for a Georgia medical malpractice case, you are making a mistake.