If you or a loved one received inadequate care in a Louisiana hospital or emergency room, you may be entitled to financial compensation. Negligence in the hospital and emergency room settings is not uncommon, and many patients and families find themselves needing to file claims with their healthcare providers’ medical malpractice insurers.
When filing a claim for hospital or emergency room negligence, there are both steps you need to take and mistakes you need to avoid. We discussed the steps you need to take previously. In this article, we are highlighting some of the key mistakes patients and families need to avoid to protect their legal rights.
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What NOT To Do if You Suspect Hospital or Emergency Room Negligence in Louisiana
So, what should you not do if you suspect hospital or emergency room negligence in Louisiana? Here are 10 potentially costly mistakes to avoid:
1. Going Back to the Hospital
If you suspect hospital or emergency room negligence, you should not go back to the same facility (or any affiliated medical facility) for follow-up care. At this point, you need to see an independent and unaffiliated doctor. If you go back to the same healthcare system, this could make it more difficult to pursue a successful claim for just compensation.
2. Ignoring Your (or Your Loved One’s) Medical Needs
While you need to be careful about your choice of healthcare providers, you still need to prioritize your (or your loved one’s) medical needs. While it can be difficult to place your trust in another healthcare provider after experiencing medical malpractice, there are good doctors out there, and obtaining an accurate diagnosis and appropriate treatment will be critical for your (or your loved one’s) long-term health and financial recovery.
3. Accepting the Hospital’s Explanation
Medical malpractice claims are expensive for hospitals; and, when claims get publicized, they can harm hospitals’ public reputations. As a result, hospitals will often try to provide explanations for mistakes that they hope will prevent patients and families from asserting their legal rights. If you suspect medical malpractice and the hospital tries to provide an explanation that justifies what happened, you should not simply accept the explanation at face value. Instead, you should consult with a lawyer who will assess your situation with your best interests in mind.
4. Letting Your Doctor Talk You Out of Filing a Claim
The same is true if your doctor (or your loved one’s doctor) tries to talk you out of filing a claim. Medical malpractice claims can also be expensive for doctors, and in many cases they can put doctors’ medical licenses in jeopardy. Unfortunately, some doctors will let these factors influence how they advise their patients. With this in mind, you should not let your doctor convince you that he or she did nothing wrong. In fact, at this point it is best to avoid discussing the situation with your doctor (or your loved one’s doctor) all together.
5. Failing to Understand the Costs of Medical Negligence
The costs of medical negligence can be substantial. Medical bills alone can climb into the tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars, while lost income, lost future earning capacity, emotional trauma, pain and suffering, and other losses can add to the burdens patients and their families endure. All of these are losses that patients and families can recover in medical malpractice claims under Louisiana law.
6. Waiting Too Long to Contact a Medical Malpractice Lawyer
If you believe you may have a claim for hospital or emergency room negligence, it is important that you speak with a medical malpractice lawyer promptly. An experienced lawyer will be able to thoroughly assess your legal rights; and, if you have a claim, your lawyer will be able to take all necessary legal action on your behalf. This includes collecting necessary evidence, consulting with a qualified medical expert, dealing with your health care provider’s insurance company, and making sure you don’t run out of time to file a lawsuit in court.
7. Choosing the Wrong Medical Malpractice Lawyer
When choosing a medical malpractice lawyer, it is important to make an informed decision. Pursuing a successful hospital or emergency room negligence case is not easy. You will need a skilled and dedicated professional on your side. There are several questions you will want to ask during your free initial consultation; and, if you do not feel comfortable choosing the lawyer to represent you, you should schedule another appointment with someone else.
8. Accepting a Settlement Offer that is Too Low
Given the costs of medical negligence, you need to make sure you do not accept a settlement offer that is too low. This starts with making sure you know how much you are entitled to recover. Once you understand the costs of your (or your loved one’s) misdiagnosis or improper treatment, you will be able to make informed decisions about when, and if, to settle your claim.
9. Rejecting a Fair Settlement Offer
While it is important not to accept a settlement offer that is too low, it is equally important not to reject a settlement offer that provides adequate compensation for your family’s losses. If you reject a fair offer, the insurance company might not be willing to negotiate further. To make the right decisions, you will need an experienced medical malpractice lawyer on your side.
10. Settling Instead of Going to Trial (When Necessary)
While no one wants to go to court, fighting for just compensation is necessary in some hospital and emergency room negligence cases. If the insurance company is unwilling to make a fair settlement offer, you will need to be prepared to take your case to trial.
Do You Have a Hospital or Emergency Room Negligence Claim? Find Out for Free
If you need to know more about how to handle a situation involving hospital or emergency room negligence, we encourage you to contact us promptly for a free, no-obligation consultation. To speak with Louisiana medical malpractice lawyer Chris J. Roy, Jr. in confidence, call 318-413-6660 or request an appointment online today.