Sadly, mistakes made by medical professionals are now a leading cause of death in America. For those who survive such egregious errors, life is usually a turbulent, traumatic succession of events, and for many, life will never be the same. Dealing with the repercussions of medical malpractice, especially as you are working to get yourself better, is a long, uphill battle you need to be prepared to fight.
Know The Facts And How To Use Them
As your malpractice suit is being put together, any revelations about treatment that emerge should be noted. It's possible that new doctors will find new issues that should have been dealt with differently, too, changing the details of your case and the magnitude with which it should be pursued. Keep these facts in mind, along with the general rules that guide a case such as yours:
- Every doctor should rise to the standard of care dictated by the profession, and they're legally obligated to do so.
- Any treatment you had, particularly if it was painful, that's now deemed unnecessary, may be included in your lawsuit.
- A disease or condition that's progressed, but could have been curbed or cured, is cause for legal action.
- Tests you undergo now that were not mentioned previously (by the physician you're suing) should be brought to the attention of your attorney, especially if you or your current doctor feel they would have been helpful, had they been conducted in the past.
- Any losses you've incurred, such as having to sell your home and/or being unable to work, that can be directly attributed to a doctor's mistake(s) should be included in your case, even if you're only realizing those losses now (so long as they can be connected to the original medical error).
- The pain and suffering terminology you're likely hearing about refers to the emotional difficulties you're now enduring — including, but not limited to, depression, anxiety, insomnia, and other life-affecting consequences of your ordeal.
Tracking everything you're going through may be tedious, but these details will strengthen your case, along with helping you realize just how extensively you were impacted.
Try To Learn To Trust Again
The very nature of a misdiagnosis or malpractice could lead anyone to lose all trust in medical professionals, but that's not a healthy way of thinking, especially if you need to continue treatment. You need to restore your faith in the industry, and perhaps people in general, after such an experience.
Consider seeing a counselor or therapist, whom you can talk with about anything, from how angry the medical mistakes cause you to feel to your doubts about future treatments and screenings. Speaking with some type of mental health professional doesn't mean you're a weak or incapable person; rather, it means you're human and have been through quite a confusing and painful ordeal. To continue on the path to wellness, in whatever capacity may be available to you, it's vital that you are able to trust again.
Be Careful Telling People About Your Malpractice Case
You may feel the need to unburden yourself of the awful medical story you have to tell; however, discussing details, even with close friends and family members may work against your case. Limit your discussions to lawyer-approved professionals, such as a counselor or therapist. Even if you're not under any confidentiality agreement, talking to anyone about a legal case may put it in jeopardy.
Seek A Wide Range Of Treatment Options
While your first goal is to recover from the major threat(s) against your health, it's important to treat your whole body and mind. For example, if pain is an inadvertent side-effect of your treatments, a physical therapist, chiropractor, or masseuse may be able to help you feel better. A yoga class or other mind-body activity might alleviate some of the pain while easing the stress you're under, too. Keep an open mind and check with your insurance company about what, exactly, they'll cover, in addition to direct treatment.
Not only will side therapies aid you physically, but they'll also serve the benefit of making you feel like all of you is being treated, with nothing ignored. Since you have at least some problems caused by a doctor's error in judgment, you need the extra comfort of having all your issues addressed, thoroughly and thoughtfully.
Don't Hold The Misdiagnosis Or Malpractice Against Your Future Doctors
It may be hard to look at your next doctor with anything but disdain and mistrust, but that won't help you heal or them treat you. Take what you learn from seeing a counselor and actively apply it to your next healthcare professionals. While you do want to point out previous mistakes and how costly they were to you, you don't want to put an invisible wedge between you and those who are trying to heal you.
Keep Communications With Your Attorney Open
Although you may eventually feel like moving on and pushing what's happened to you out of your mind, it's crucial that you keep your medical malpractice attorney in the loop about how you're feeling, the new treatments you're undergoing, and how, in general, the malpractice is affecting your life, medically and psychologically. Your lawyer will use the information you relay to build a strong and just case against the doctor responsible for your situation.
Even if you expect to receive or have received a significant settlement in your malpractice case, you still have to deal with the ups and downs of your illness, the fight to get better, and the subsequent side-effects, such as anxiety and excessive worrying, mistrust, and the constant fear that mistakes will be made again. All these things take a heavy toll on you, so reach out for the help you need and depend on your attorney to make things right — or at least, as right as they can be made.
Contact a law firm like R.J. Marzella & Associates, P.C. for more information.