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How to Reduce Your Risk for Medical Malpractice

July 1, 2013

When a person enters a hospital or other medical facility, they do so expecting the highest standards of care, and to leave in better condition than they first entered. While no one enters a medical facility with the intent of being harmed, injuries still occur.

While it’s not possible to completely eliminate your risk for medical malpractice, you can take some steps to reduce your risks:

Research: Before scheduling a doctor’s appointment, take some time to do some research of your own. There are many websites out there that will tell you malpractice rates for any facility, as well as sites that provide records and reviews on individual doctors.

Observe for Cleanliness: When you arrive at the office or facility, look around. Is everything clean and sterile? Do you observe doctors and nurses washing their hands and following other proper medical procedures? According to MIT Technology Review, about 100,000 people have died due to hospital infections, some of which stemmed from doctors, nurses, and technicians not washing well enough.

Ask Questions: Is the doctor knowledgeable about your condition, and able to provide satisfactory answers? If you feel like your doctor doesn’t seem to know or care about your condition, find another doctor.

Most doctors carry medical malpractice insurance to protect themselves and the cost of their legal defense should a medical malpractice case come about. The plaintiff, on the other hand, will need to hire a personal injury lawyer. Lawyers on both sides will call medical experts to either confirm or deny that the doctor’s conduct and actions fell below the standard of care.

If you believe that you are a victim of medical malpractice, contact an attorney to find out whether or not you have a case.