The Dos and Don’ts in a Medical Malpractice ClaimNew Jersey Legal News
After an accident, especially one involving a healthcare professional, there are many things that you should and shouldn’t do. There are certain actions that will adversely impact your medical malpractice claim. Before you speak with an attorney, there are some important things that you should remember and some things that you should never do. By remembering the dos and don’ts of a medical malpractice claim, you can learn how to handle all aspects of your case after you have been harmed by a negligent professional.
The First Step After a Malpractice Accident
After you have been harmed by a medical professional, it is imperative that you first seek medical attention. The second most important step is to contact a skilled medical malpractice attorney so that you can get started on your case as soon as possible. The statute of limitations is only two years in New Jersey, which is why you should never delay when bringing your claim. If you miss this deadline because you did not speak with an attorney, you could be prevented from bringing a claim altogether. The process of a medical malpractice claim tends to take several months, which is why you should never wait.
Things You Should Do After a Medical Malpractice Accident
Gather Medical Records: Medical records are some of the best pieces of evidence that you will have in your case after you have been harmed by a medical provider. This is because an attorney will be able to see all of the evidence regarding your harm right in front of them, especially evidence of surgeries that went wrong and evidence of being misdiagnosed or given a wrong prescription. All of the medical records that were provided at the hospital or physician’s office where you were wrongfully treated will be necessary.
List Medical Providers: If you have not been able to obtain all medical records, you should acquire a list of all the medical providers that you have seen. Write down their names and their contact information so you can give an organized list to your attorney so they can reach out and obtain medical records if you are unable to do so.
Locate Income Tax Records: You should try to obtain the last five years of income tax records. If you plan to obtain lost wages so that you can compensate for the time that you have missed at work, it is important to be able to show how much you have made at your job or business in the past. You should also give information pertaining to disability benefits if that is applicable.
Show Photographs from Before Injuries: Photographs taken before the accident can show the lifestyle that you used to lead before your accident. Perhaps you are unable to do things that you once loved or you have had to stop working since the accident and do not know if you will be able to return in the future. These are aspects that the court will want to know about so that you can attempt to gain some sort of normalcy in your life after you have been harmed by a negligent party.
Obtain Death Certificates: If a loved one lost their life in a medical malpractice accident, you should obtain their death certificate as soon as possible. This document will show that a loved one passed away due to an accident or will show that you are authorized to represent the deceased person and their estate after an accident.
Things You Shouldn’t Do After a Medical Malpractice Accident
Never Post on Social Media: You should never take to social media after you have been harmed by a medical care provider. Many cases have been ruined by the things that injured victims say on social media accounts. Many parties will be looking for any type of information that they can use to discredit your claim in any way. You never want to say that you are doing okay after your accident or say anything adverse about the party who has caused you harm because this information could get back to them and ruin the future of your claim.
Don’t Argue with Providers: You never want to speak with your medical care provider in a negative fashion after the incident has taken place. This means never send out emails venting to them or arguing with them about what went wrong or what they could have done better. Any correspondence that you have with them could be used to hurt you or discredit you in the long run.
Don’t Throw Out Medical Records: Your medical records, as mentioned, are one of the most important aspects that you have in your claim. You don’t want to ruin this evidence by throwing it out or defacing them. If you want to communicate with your lawyer about what they are seeing in front of them, you can use sticky notes. Once your medical records are gone, you can’t get them back, and important evidence in your claim could be lost forever.
Don’t Miss Doctor’s Appointments: What you do after your accident will be scrutinized by defense lawyers for many months. This is because they will want to minimize your injuries and pay out less than you deserve. If you miss any appointments or fail to abide by the instructions your physician gives you after you have been harmed, you could be reducing the amount you are given in compensation later on.
Calling an Attorney After a Medical Malpractice Accident
After you have been harmed by a care provider, you likely have many questions and might be feeling confused about where you can turn. After a medical malpractice accident, it is essential that you speak with a skilled personal injury attorney in New Jersey about your options. The longer you wait, the more likely you are to lose out on opportunities for compensation. Make sure that you choose an attorney who has handled these cases in the past and will extend a helping hand when you need it most. Please contact us at Brady, Brady & Reilly for more information on how we can assist you at (201) 997-0030.