How to Avoid Becoming a Victim of Medical Malpractice
While medical malpractice isn’t the fault of a patient, there are some things you can do to be your own best advocate in a medical setting. The simple steps below can help prevent possible life-threatening mistakes by medical professionals.
But if you do believe you or a loved one has experienced harm due to medical malpractice, call Pope & Howard, medical malpractice attorneys, for help: 404-885-9999. Partners Geoff Pope and Marc Howard have decades of experience in trying medical malpractice cases in Georgia and are here to advise you on your next steps.
Pay Attention and Take Notes
In all your appointments with a medical professional, make sure you’re taking notes and paying attention as you go along. Often, patients will finish an appointment or medical exam and find they can hardly remember what was said to them.
This is understandable, as patients are often whisked from room to room, asked multiple questions by multiple different people, and told very little before suddenly the procedure or appointment is over.
Many patients also believe that the doctor knows best and because of which, they might tune out to what’s happening. We recommend paying very close attention to your appointments and any recommended medication, procedure, or surgery, taking notes so that later you can refer back to them. Even if no medical malpractice occurs, this allows you as a patient to understand what’s going on and be your own best advocate.
Ask Questions & Speak Up
While many patients may pay attention in their appointments, they might feel intimidated or unable to ask questions. Doctor’s offices and hospitals are often very busy, keeping patient interaction to a minimum when not performing actual care.
We recommend making a list of questions you want to ask before the doctor or medical professional comes in so that you don’t forget what they are once you’re in the moment. This will allow you to ask questions quickly, but also to make sure you’re getting answers.
If you feel confused about an answer, ask clarifying questions and ask for definitions. Or, write down the terms they’re using so you can look them up later.
If you feel they’ve said something incorrect, speak up! Because they see so many patients throughout the day and so quickly, it’s easy for a medical professional to get details mixed up with other patients. It’s not rude and it doesn’t mean you’re questioning their knowledge. Anyone can make a mistake at work, but in a medical setting, the consequences are more severe. We’ve even seen some patients say they knew the doctor was saying the wrong thing but didn’t feel comfortable correcting them. When it comes to your health, this is the time to speak up.
Bring a Friend or Family Member
A new medical diagnosis or pain can make thinking clearly difficult. For some patients, just being in a doctor’s office can make their head spin between the busyness and medical jargon. If this is you, we recommend bringing a friend or family member who is well-versed in medical language, has a job or career in the medical industry, or who can take detailed notes. Not only can they be a great support for you, but they can also make sure you ask all questions that you had before you entered the medical facility.
Contact Pope & Howard for Medical Malpractice in Atlanta, GA
If you believe you or a loved one has experienced medical malpractice, contact the medical malpractice attorneys at Pope and Howard: 404-885-9999. Our team is here to help and get you just compensation.