When someone places themselves or a loved one in the hands of a trusted physician, the last thing they expect is for something to go wrong because of a doctor’s negligence. Unfortunately, this happens to hundreds of families in the U.S. every year.

Medical malpractice or negligence can cause a number of difficulties for everyone involved. For patients, it may result in serious injury or even death. For individuals in the medical field, a malpractice suit may result in unwanted, not to mention negative, attention. In rare and severe cases, a medical professional can even lost his or her license to practice. Truly, preventing medical malpractice is in the best interest of both patients and physicians.

As a patient, there are some actions you can take to protect yourself and/or your loved ones against medical malpractice:

Discuss all medical procedures thoroughly with your doctor or surgeon. It is important that you fully understand what is involved going into any medical or surgical procedure. It is equally essential to know what to expect upon your recovery.
Understand all prescriptions you receive, including knowing why you are being administered medication, how you should take the medication, any potential side effects, and any foods or other medications you should avoid while taking your prescription. Ask questions if certain information is unclear or confusing to you.
Be mindful and proactive in meetings with your doctor and other medical professionals. Ask questions, take notes, keep records of visits, and make sure you comprehend any information the doctor has relayed before you leave.
If possible, have a friend or family member accompany you to the appointment, especially if you feel overwhelmed taking in all the information alone.
Lastly, if you believe you or a loved one has been the victim of medical malpractice or negligence, know that help is available and justice is possible. If you need further guidance, call a skilled medical malpractice attorney.