Categorized | Issues

Seeking Assistance After a Negative Medical Event

sj-1Doctors, nurses and other medical staff are not perfect. They make errors just like all workers across every industry. Many patients have difficulty knowing how to resolve a negative medical situation to their satisfaction. They commonly ask themselves:

– Who do I talk to about this event?
– How do I fix the damages caused by this event?
– Should I file a medical malpractice lawsuit?

Making the Right Choice

Patients who are uncertain about their options should always seek advice from lawyers at a firm that deals with personal injury and medical malpractice like Siegfried and Jensen. Yet, before making that call, use this list to help reduce any uncertainty:

– Billing Errors: Unless the shock from a medical billing error or stress from related financial losses causes a major health problem like a heart attack or stroke, the first step to getting help is contacting the billing department manager for assistance.
– Poor Customer Service: Patients should always weigh the event against the physical and emotional harm it caused them. For example, if a hospital staff member is rude, the best person to speak with first is the patient relations administrator. If a staff member’s words or actions cause severe physical or emotional distress that the hospital won’t acknowledge, contact the hospital complaint line for the state where the event took place or a lawyer.
– Gross Negligence: Any type of carelessness that results in injury, financial losses or death is best addressed by an experienced lawyer. Attempts to gain any type of resolution from the party that acted carelessly or supervisors and facility administrators can cause a patient additional harm and even result in future difficulties when trying to prove a claim.

Defining Carelessness

Carelessness scenarios vary wildly from mild to severe. For example, an ER doctor tells a patient that test results were fine even though there were semi-questionable ones because the patient’s symptoms suggest a seasonal virus. A week later, the patient makes an extra trip to the ER because of continued symptoms and learns shortly after that the previous ER doctor could have done additional tests that would have resolved the health problem sooner. Another example: A radiologist misreads a scan and then fails to appropriately alert the patient and the ordering specialist of the problem or provide a corrected report. The patient does not find out about the error, negligence or that a serious problem exists until weeks later after having lost considerable income because of symptoms.

Other acts of carelessness include doctors prescribing medications that are clearly outlined as dangerous in a patient’s medical history and leaving behind surgical equipment inside a patient’s body.

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