More than a million people each year are harmed by medical malpractice. If you suspect you've been injured due to malpractice, it's important to take several steps to preserve evidence in your case and act quickly so that you don't run into the statute of limitations for your injuries.
Being the instigator of legal action against someone you know and once trusted can be difficult and confusing if you don't know what to do next. Here are some steps you should take if you believe that you've been the victim of medical malpractice.
- Get copies of your medical records. Under federal law, you have a right to your medical records. Ask for complete copies from your doctor's office or hospital as soon as possible, and be ready to pay for them if needed.
- Report the incident internally. If your injury happened in a hospital or other healthcare facility, they should conduct an internal investigation. You can ask to have your version of events included as part of the investigation.
- Call an attorney. An attorney can help you navigate your case if they agree to take it, but even if they don't, they can help you negotiate with hospitals and doctors if needed.
- Meet with the doctors or providers involved in the incident. Legal action isn't your only option. You can negotiate directly with the doctor or hospital that harmed you without ever going to court.
- Report the incident to regulators to make sure there is follow up. Reporting the incident creates a record and a statistic for your case, but you have to report it to the correct agency. Different agencies regulate different health care providers. Find out which regulatory agency is responsible for oversight in your case.
Bouchillon, Crossan & Colburn can help you with all kinds of personal injury claims in West Virginia, from car, motorcycle, or trucking accidents, industrial accidents, medical malpractice and more. If you or a loved one has been injured and is seeking a qualified personal injury attorney, contact our Huntington, West Virginia office to speak with an attorney about your case, or call 304-523-8451.