The Best Ways of Investigating Medical Malpractice
Proving negligence in a medical malpractice case can be tough on someone who doesn’t have knowledge of the medical field. It’s a minefield of complex scientific jargon which is why you will need specialists to help you.
The best ways to investigate and prove medical malpractice are:
- Seek advice from a medical malpractice lawyer.
- Hire a medical malpractice investigator.
- Document everything pertaining to the medical negligence.
Seek advice from a medical malpractice lawyer
Without a doubt you will probably need to hire the services of a lawyer, but they can be costly. It is recommended to seek an initial consultation with a medical malpractice lawyer to see where you stand legally. An initial consultation is usually free for a certain amount of time (usually half an hour) and depending on your case the lawyer will give you some indications of the likelihood of success.
Besides seeing what laws could have been broken, lawyers will consider many things regarding your case, such as what evidence is available to them, how hard will it be to build and prove your case, the chances of a successful outcome and viability.
Medical malpractice lawyers will also:
- Work with medical experts to develop theories, testimony, and expert reports to strengthen your case.
- Take depositions of medical experts, medical personnel and other parties related to the case.
- Gather and analyze medical records.
- Obtain independent medical examinations of any injuries, illnesses, or conditions.
- Perform medical research relating to injuries, illnesses, or conditions.
- Work with legal nurse consultants to analyze and review your case, medical records, doctor's notes, etc.
Hire a medical malpractice investigator
A lawyer is a lawyer and an investigator is an investigator. If after going to a lawyer you’re told your case is weak due to lack of supporting evidence, you may want to use the investigative services of a medical malpractice investigator. A lawyer may also hire an investigator
if they take on your case.
Once you hire a medical private investigator they will gather as much information as possible to help build your case. Some of the things they will do are:
- Obtain all medical records; including diagnoses, treatments, etc.
- Finding, interviewing, and taking statements of witnesses involved.
- Background checks of healthcare workers for past medical malpractices, disciplinary actions, correct qualifications to practice, substance abuse, etc.
- Investigate and compare the medical procedures used during the incident for departures from standard medical procedures.
- Research specific drugs, procedures, and treatments used to ensure they were appropriate.
- Consult with legal and medical experts to determine any negligence.
A medical malpractice investigator can help build your case in a way that would be too irresistible for any lawyer not to take on. The medical private investigator will know what evidence to look for, where to find it, and how to get it. This evidence can then be presented to a lawyer to prepare for trial.
Document everything pertaining to the medical negligence
One of the best ways to help build your malpractice case is to document everything. You should create a medical journal diarizing everything that has happened, and is happening, as a result of the hospital or medical treatment you consider being negligent.
Some of the information to record in your diary:
- Dates and times of everything in chronological order.
- Record hospital / practitioner visits including names of hospitals, doctors, practitioners.
- Record prescriptions and treatments given and by whom, for how long for, additional treatments and examinations needed.
- Write down what mental and physical effects were experienced whilst on those treatments
Keep all notes and correspondents with all hospitals and practitioners involved. If possible, record conversations with a covert recording device
(laws permitting of course).
Where you can, contact anyone who was a party to, or present at any time during any aspect of your case, particularly during the specific incident that led up to and caused the injury. Try and obtain their contact details for the medical malpractice investigator or lawyer, who will most certainly want to interview them.
You should also obtain your medical records from the healthcare provider you intend investigating. Most countries have certain laws that allow individuals to obtain their own medical records quite easily and the healthcare provider must comply within a certain amount of time.
If requesting another’s medical records you will certainly need to get their written permission. This is usually more difficult under data protection laws for obvious reasons. Do not try and obtain another’s medical records without the patient’s permission, as this is usually illegal.
In the United States, the federal Health Information Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) gives patients the right to obtain a copy of their medical records
from any medical provider, with a few exceptions. Other countries will most likely have similar laws.