Patients revere doctors for their compassionate care and competence and consider their words infallible. Unfortunately, negligence and medical malpractice can easily erode a patient’s trust in physicians and other healthcare professionals. 

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The last thing 21st-century dads want is to see their loved ones suffer needlessly from botched medical care. But how should modern fathers respond? Here’s a comprehensive guide on how dads can handle medical malpractice.

Understand the Basics: How to Spot Medical Malpractice

Dads will want to know if the case is worth pursuing. Based on the resources at ConsumerShield, it is important to identify medical malpractice as the first step toward effective management. The same source also offers support in pursuing medical malpractice claims. 

The American Board of Professional Liability Attorneys (ABPLA) says medical malpractice must have three essential characteristics to be deemed as such.

The doctor violated standards of care.

Doctors should adhere to professional standards of care. For example, physicians must prescribe the right drug at the right dose and frequency. Hence, a doctor who prescribes inappropriate treatment is at risk for medical malpractice.

Other potential violations include misdiagnosis, breach of confidentiality, poor medical care, lack of patient consent, and improper or incorrect medical care.

The patient sustained an injury or harm as a direct result of care standards violations.

Violating standards of care is often insufficient to file a valid medical malpractice claim. Dads and their families must prove that the doctor’s negligence caused harm or injury to the patient. The relationship must be direct – the injury is not due to other factors.

The patient’s injuries or harm produced significant damages.

The injury’s gravity or seriousness also influences medical malpractice claims. For example, physical disability, hardship, severe emotional distress, income losses, and unusual pain can build a more solid medical malpractice case.

Document Everything

One in five to ten malpractice lawsuits is won (or lost) by medical documentation. It works both ways. Doctors facing negligence lawsuits can beef up their defense with accurate and complete medical records. On the other hand, patients can win the case by showing otherwise.

If possible, ask your medical provider to furnish you with a copy of your medical records and other pertinent documents (i.e., laboratory results and diagnostic test exam interpretations). 

You will want to get these documents when you suspect medical malpractice to prevent alterations or tampering.

Resolving medical malpractice issues can take years, and complainants or plaintiffs might no longer recall every detail without proper documentation. Thus, dads must document the incident in a journal, including the injuries or harm sustained and any ongoing care. 

Contact the Doctor Involved

Suspecting medical malpractice is one thing; seeking justice is another. The respondent or medical professional complained about is one of the best individuals to address such issues.

Explain your concerns. Ideally, you should talk with the doctor and a medical malpractice lawyer. Sometimes, the case doesn’t need to go to court. 

If the medical professional recognizes the mistake and is willing to rectify it without additional costs, there’s a good chance you can solve the problem without litigation.

Contact the Medical Licensing Board

Suppose the doctor or medical professional doesn’t agree to fix the problem or fails to solve the problem successfully. In such cases, dads can bring the issue to the appropriate medical licensing board.

Plaintiffs must know that licensing boards have limited powers. They cannot order physicians to pay medical malpractice complainants. However, these organizations can subject erring doctors to disciplinary measures, including warnings and suspensions. 

Learn How Long You Can File a Medical Malpractice Claim

States vary in the period you can file for a malpractice claim. For example, most states put the statute of limitations for medical malpractice at two years from discovery. On the other hand, California only gives complainants one year to file a claim, although it extends the statute of limitations to three years after injury. It’s the same with Tennessee.

Kentucky, Louisiana, and Ohio observe a one-year limitation. District of Columbia, Maine, Massachusetts, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, North Carolina, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Vermont, Washington, and Wisconsin observe three years. Minnesota has the longest statute of limitations at four years.

Knowing the statute of limitations empowers dads and families to hire a credible medical malpractice lawyer to file a claim within the prescribed period.

Final Thoughts

Handling medical malpractice should be a dad’s least of worries. Unfortunately, accidents happen, and doctors are humans, too. They can err and make mistakes. 

Early recognition of a potential medical malpractice case, documentation, and communication are essential. 

Nevertheless, dads play a significant role in finding justice for their aggrieved loved ones.

, How to Handle Medical Malpractice: A Guide for Dads, Days of a Domestic Dad