It can be extremely traumatic if you have been the victim of a medical negligence incident, and there are some important steps that you should take as soon as possible after the incident. This can help you in several ways, including strengthening a potential compensation claim in the future.
Seek specialist legal advice from a medical negligence solicitor
When you believe you have been a victim of medical negligence, it is important to seek specialist advice from a medical negligence solicitor as soon as possible after the incident. Choose a law firm that is accredited and has a proven track record with medical negligence claims. They should be honest and responsible, allowing for open lines of communication. No win, no fee firms can also be a bonus, which will give you further reassurance prior to taking a claim.
Don’t be afraid to ask questions
Speaking to a legal professional gives you the opportunity to ask questions that will give you in-depth knowledge of any potential procedures that apply in a claim for medical negligence. This can clarify what is involved and will allow you to have a better understanding of the process.
Get help – be it a professional or simply talking to a trusted friend or family member
Suffering a medical negligence incident can be extremely psychologically traumatic. Therefore, it is essential that you talk to someone who is close to you instead of suffering the burden alone and in silence. Indeed professional help is something to consider if you have suffered trauma as a result of medical negligence.
Take photos of any visible injuries
Not all medical negligence incidents leave long term visible scars or injuries, however if you have suffered an injury that is visible, take photographs as a record as this may be useful evidence if you later wish to take a case for compensation.
Keep a written record of your symptoms
We always recommend that people keep a written diary or record of injuries. An injury can progress or indeed develop along the way and it could be difficult to remember exact issues down the line. A diary is a superb way to document issues such as pain, flare ups, difficult moments or days and will provide you with valuable evidence to provide to your solicitor down the line.
Visit an objective medical professional
Again, it is not always possible to get an opinion if you are in a hospital or care home, but it can be beneficial to visit your GP or ask for a different consultant to assess you.
Ask people for witness statements if relevant
Getting witness statements as soon as possible after the incident can be profoundly beneficial for any potential claim. Witnesses such as friends and family who may have been present are likely to be fresher and more accurate directly after the incident took place than at a later date.
Request your medical records
Starting the ball rolling as quickly as possible is important and requesting copies of your medical records is a great first step. You are entitled to access them under Data Protection laws. We can also assist you in this request for records if required.
It is important to know who was involved in your care at the time of the incident. This can include consultants, junior doctors, nurses and students that were responsible for your care.
Take a deep breath
Rest and relaxation are extremely important if you have been through a trauma, so take a step back to deal with the stress that is naturally involved. If you have contacted a specialist medical negligence law firm, they will move your claim onwards and guide you through the required steps, so you can have peace of mind that a professional is handling the matter for you.
By taking these steps, you ensure that you have sufficient evidence if you decide to claim compensation.