When receiving healthcare, there is always going to be the possibility, no matter how small, that you may be harmed. It is an informed risk that you must take, and healthcare providers will usually take care that you are indeed informed.
Often, the harm you sustain is going to be relatively out of people's control, or something they could not have anticipated. However, it is not at all rare that a healthcare provider may have harmed you through acts of negligence. With this being the case, just what exactly are you supposed to do if you are the victim of a negligent healthcare provider?
What to do if you have been harmed by a negligent healthcare provider
Depending on the damages you incur, you may be able to receive more compensation if the damages are more severe or crippling. You can even claim damages in the event in place of a loved one who was damaged by a negligent healthcare provider if the damages lead to death or another inability to represent themselves in making a claim against a healthcare provider, not just for their damages but also the damages that their loss caused for you; for example, if that person was the moneymaker for your family, they may be responsible for that loss as well. However, people dealing with damage from negligence by a healthcare provider may feel as though they have no idea what they should do about it. After all, going after a healthcare provider to get compensation for damages can be a rather difficult, time-consuming, and honestly, fairly costly thing to have to do. As a result, many will just forgo the process altogether. But it does not need to be a frustrating process.
First, you should determine how bad the damages ultimately were, and ideally, use a different healthcare provider to provide an opinion on them. Going with the same healthcare provider, or anyone affiliated with it, could potentially run the risk of giving a biased report. If you do have a report of damages from that healthcare provider, you should still get a second opinion, as if the damages are actually bigger than what the provider initially suggests, a contradictory report would be quite helpful in the end for your case. It is also important to remember that what a "healthcare provider" can mean is rather varied; doctors, nurses, surgeons, dentists, nursing home workers, and even organizations such as hospitals and assisted living facilities, can be the target of a medical malpractice lawsuit.
There are two main ways that a lot of medical malpractice cases come around. First is negligence, as we discussed above, where a healthcare provider provides care at a lower level of quality than you have an expectation for. For example, a healthcare provider who prescribes you a medication that is not the right fit for you, or perhaps the medication interacts poorly with other medications that you are already taking, and the doctor did not take care to avoid that. On the other hand, recklessness is a lot more concerning, and can potentially result in worse damage as well. For example, a doctor who performs surgery while under the influence constitutes a lot more than negligence. Even if the surgery does not produce damages, you may still be able to seek damages for the action for the risk they put on you. Just make sure you consult an attorney on whether it is worth pursuing such a claim. Though in general, any attempt to file medical malpractice claims should be done with some serious consultation and consideration with a lawyer who specializes in dealing with medical malpractice. By doing so, you will have a better idea of how things may go. Planning is ultimately one of the most important things you can do with pursuing any claims.
When you actually do file the claim against your healthcare provider, you will then have to go to the negotiating table and, well... negotiate. Healthcare providers tend to not want to go to trial if they do not have to, so they may be inclined to negotiate something that you may be satisfied with. Of course, any settlement is going to involve you having to take some concessions on how much you get back, but ideally, you are going to want to pursue compensation that covers your healthcare costs, both including your initial medical costs associated with the damage, as well as costs which you have to deal with following the injury, such as further medical costs to repair the injury or take care of yourself during the injury. You may also be able to receive compensation in the event that the damages incurred through medical malpractice are found to have caused you to lose out on your ability to conduct your normal life. This can include limitations to your social life, as well as being unable to do your occupation, either partially or fully. You may also want to look into compensation for pain and suffering, which may be applicable if the injury has affected your ability to live your life as you once did.