What Do I Do If I Think My Doctor Made a Mistake?
In Indiana, most doctors try their best and do fine work. However, the Medical Malpractice Act, passed in 1976 to help doctors, had an unintended effect. Doctors who made mistakes in other states came here because of the protections of the medical malpractice act. So what do you do if you think your doctor made a mistake. The answer has several parts. It would be nice if you could go to your doctor and have a frank discussion about what happened. Some doctors, the good ones, will have this discussion with you. They will tell you what happened and what you can do about it. Doctors who have these discussions are much less likely to be sued than someone who is perceived as trying to hide something. A frank discussion with your doctor may convince you that they really did not make a mistake. You see, sometimes medical care does not result in recovery. Sometimes the result of a surgery is not what you expected, or hoped for, however, a bad result alone is not evidence of malpractice. (As we discussed before, Malpractice means a failure to do what a reasonable doctor would have done. It does not mean the doctor meant to do you harm).
If your doctor is unwilling to speak with you, or you are too shy to speak with the doctor, you still have options. One option is to meet with a qualified accident and injury lawyer. A qualified attorney is more like than not certified as a civil trial lawyer by the national Board of trial advocacy. A competent accident or injury lawyer has experience with all types of injuries, including brain injury, spinal cord injuries, back injuries, paralysis, amputation, and wrongful death. A qualified accident or injury attorney knows that whether your doctor committed malpractice is a question only another doctor can answer. Therefore it is essential to have contacts with all types of doctors who can review the facts of your case and let you know whether your doctor committed malpractice. Knowing this information up front can give you peace of mind, that no malpractice occurred, or give you a strong basis for bringing your claim for compensation.
A second option is to file a complaint with the Indiana Medical Licensing Board. Your complaint alone probably will not have any real effect. However, if your doctor is consistently making mistakes, and his patients are consistently reporting his actions to the Board, eventually the board will take action to investigate the doctor and if he/she is making many mistakes, take action to prohibit him or her from further practice.
A third option is to report your concerns to the Indiana Attorney General’s Office (317 232-6531). The attorney General has the ability to investigate doctors and make sure they are removed from practice.
If you would like to discuss your concerns about a serious injury case involving medical treatment, please call Young and Young. With more than fifty five years of experience, we know we can help.