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What Should You Do If You Suspect Medical Malpractice?

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What Should You Do If You Suspect Medical Malpractice?

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Medical malpractice occurs when a healthcare professional such as a doctor, nurse, surgeon, or medical facility, such as a clinic, hospital, or emergency room, does not exercise a proper standard of care, which results in the serious injury or death of a patient. Some signs that medical malpractice might have occurred or played a part in a new or worsening injury beginning after medical treatment include an unwillingness on the part of your medical team to discuss the treatment with you, refusal to release medical records, and/or your post-treatment symptoms are severely out of alignment with standard symptoms which generally occur after that type of treatment.

As a general rule of thumb, if a medical professional failed to provide you with the same standard of care another professional with similar training would have provided under similar circumstances, further investigation into potential medical malpractice or negligence is warranted. If you have found yourself injured due to suspected medical malpractice, there are a series of recommended steps you can take to protect yourself and your family from further harm.


  • Seek alternate medical care immediately. You will need to seek medical care from a different medical team to treat or at least confirm that a new injury was sustained due to medical malpractice, or that a preexisting injury was worsened. This will go into proving the validity of your claim. It is imperative that you seek this additional care as soon as possible after you realize the injury. Waiting to seek medical care could result in an argument against the severity of your injury down the road.
  • Seek legal counsel. Medical malpractice lawsuits can be complex with multiple liable parties involved and evidence that can be hard for someone without legal training to access. Additionally, an attorney will be able to advise you whether you are likely to receive a fair settlement outside of court or if you will need to take the case to trial to receive fair compensation for your injury and ensuing damages.
  • Contact the medical professional you suspect of malpractice. Often, the medical professional responsible for your treatment can explain the details of the treatment to you in a way that rules out malpractice. Other times, they could refuse to communicate or withhold information from you which could indicate that negligence occurred. It’s important to record and save every communication with your medical team to use as evidence if needed down the road.
  • Contact the medical licensing board. While contacting a medical licensing board is not the same as filing a medical malpractice claim, doing so doesn’t hurt, and they can issue warnings to the medical professional in question in the meantime to hopefully prevent the same thing from occurring to other patients, and can possibly offer guidance about your next steps.

It should be noted that there is a time limit or “statute of limitations” beginning when the injury was realized in which a victim of medical malpractice can file a claim.The specific amount of time for each statute of limitations vary from state to state. If the time limit passes, the injured party will not be able to seek legal compensation for that injury.

Is filing a medical malpractice lawsuit worth the hassle?

Injuries and damages which occur due to medical malpractice can be extremely traumatic and costly. From medical bills for additional treatment to correct the new or worsened injury to lost wages; non-economic damages such as pain and suffering or loss of enjoyment or life; and even wrongful death, if you have suffered from medical malpractice, filing a lawsuit is an effective and often necessary way to seek compensation. If you are worried that paying a lawyer on top of managing your medical bills is out of reach, it may help to know that most reputable medical malpractice attorneys work on contingency, which means you won’t have to pay a dime unless and until they win your case.

While the majority of medical professionals are highly-trained and committed to the health of their patients, many medical professionals guilty of malpractice are never held accountable and go on to cause many more similar injuries in further patients. Taking legal action to account for damages to you and your family can protect countless others from suffering from the same consequences of malpractice.

If you would like to learn more about your rights or discuss your eligibility for compensation, seek legal counsel.

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