Medical malpractice can affect your health. A delayed diagnosis might mean that your condition gets much worse. A wrong diagnosis might mean that you undergo harmful and unnecessary medical treatment. Surgical errors could cause provable damage, keep you from work and require a difficult revision procedure.
Any mistake that affects your quality of care could have a lasting impact on your health and your life. In theory, patients negatively affected by poor medical decisions or inadequate care can bring a medical malpractice claim against the doctor or facility involved in their treatment. To make a claim, a patient needs some kind of proof.
How can someone with no medical background prove they were the victim of medical malpractice?
Start keeping your own records
Did you ask your doctor about certain symptoms or a treatment, only to have them ignore you? Keeping a record of what you spoke with about your doctor or your concerns that went ignored could help you later. Detailed records including the date, time and specifics of the interaction could help you show that your doctor made a mistake or oversight that affected the quality of care that you received.
Get a copy of your formal medical records
Your handwritten notes or recorded video diaries on your phone won’t necessarily prove your case on their own. Your official medical record can play a major role in corroborating or strengthening your medical malpractice claim. Under federal health care laws, you have a right to obtain copies of your medical record. Asking for your complete records from the facility or physician that you suspect of malpractice is an important step in preparing to bring a malpractice claim against them.
Get a second opinion about the standard of care you received
Perhaps the most important aspect of a medical malpractice claim is another medical professional validating your complaint.
When another doctor can testify that they would have performed different tests, recommended a different treatment or reached a different conclusion, that can call into question the standard of care provided by your doctor. The bigger the deviation between the treatment you received and the current standard of care in that specific area of medicine, the stronger your claim may be.
A medical malpractice claim may involve making a formal complaint with the medical practitioner or a claim against their insurance. It may also involve going to civil court. Understanding how to prove a medical malpractice claim can help embolden you to take action about the inadequate care you received.