The medical field has made much advancement, but complaints against doctors are still pouring in. We often hear stories of a wrong diagnose, a nonchalant brush of a symptom that had fatal consequences, an error in the prescription, or even a careless overdose of medicine. All these may have injured the patient physically, financially, and psychologically. How do you bring to justice those responsible for such medical malpractices?
The Complaint: Where and How?
A patient wants to file a complaint against a doctor or a hospital when he is more than just dissatisfied with the health care practitioner. A patient can file a complaint against a doctor on reasons of pain and suffering, disfigurement, death, even indifference, and malpractice. Complaints against a negligent doctor can be made in four ways. Before filing a complaint, however, try to resolve by talking it out with your doctor. If that doesn’t work, submit a written complaint to your state medical board. This is an important step, as your complaint will go on public record. If you wish to recover money or file a complaint for malpractice injury, you can do so only though a trial in court. Seek a lawyer’s counsel in that case.
What Happens Next?
When the board receives a complaint letter, it sends a copy of it to the concerned health care practitioner. Then an investigation committee comprising of doctors examine the case. They study the complaint, the doctor’s response, and inspect other medical records. The outcome of these investigative procedures conducted by the board is unpredictable. Sometimes, the board may not take any action if they believe that there was no negligence on the part of the doctor. If the doctor was proved guilty, he may be issued a warning or counseled as the case may be to improve his or her practice. In serious cases where the doctor is proved beyond doubt of his guilt, his license can be cancelled and fined up to $25,000.
Seek legal help when you think the doctor has done a malpractice or broken the law. Especially, if the doctor has put you or your loved one’s life in danger. If you want financial compensation, taking the doctor to court is the only way. But, it is a long process and can emotionally drain you. Most doctors like to settle it out of court and might offer compensatory money. Your lawyer can guide you on this. He may also help to get your medical records back from the otherwise uncooperative hospital. A lawyer’s involvement can turn your case around for the better.