Embarrassing medical conditions are bad enough on their own, but when a doctor's negligence exacerbates your situation even further, you know you're in for tough times ahead. Bringing forth a medical malpractice suit means broadcasting every detail of your condition to others, over and over again. You really have no choice, though, when you're only other alternative is to let the mistakes of the doctor go unanswered. Here are seven ways to survive the unenviable road you have ahead of you.
1. Find A Good Medical Malpractice Lawyer You Feel Comfortable Talking To
Above and beyond the experience and know-how of a good malpractice attorney, due to the sensitive nature of your case, make sure you go with someone you feel comfortable with. While many factors may influence your level of comfort or discomfort discussing the private details of the medical negligence, such as their age or gender, your attorney should be someone you can really pour your heart out to, revealing every painful and personal detail to. This could also be a long and drawn out process; in which case, compatibility and comfort with the confidant who will represent you is essential.
2. Consider The Embarrassment Factor A Possible Increase In Your "Pain And Suffering"
Although your state may have a cap on the damages you can recover for pain, suffering and distress, the embarrassment factor of the case may actually add to its potential value. Embarrassment itself would fall under pain and suffering; however, if you hold your ground during settlement talks, insisting to take the case to trial if your terms aren't met, the doctor may be more likely to agree to the terms, in order to avoid disclosure of the embarrassing situation at trial. This information could be very likely to sway a jury in your favor, meaning the doctor would rather settle than resist.
3. Know That You Still Have Privacy Rights
Even under litigious circumstances, doctor-patient confidentiality is still in place. Although lawyers have the right to subpoena records, no one else can broadcast the details of your case, unless they, too, would like to be sued. Any violation of HIPAA (the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act) would be an additional mark against the doctor, although legal action taken by you for such conduct would be covered by your State laws. Such brazen violation of a patient's rights would be rare, though, and you can expect professional conduct from the parties involved in your suit. As much as you may feel the entire world knows about your embarrassment, it likely knows nothing.
4. Be Prepared To Discuss The Sorted Details
It's a good idea to practice discussing the facts in any legal case you're pursuing, but doing so may be even more helpful when the details are embarrassing and difficult. Practicing your responses should take at least some of the edge off the embarrassment and shock, making your testimony easier and perhaps more valuable to your case. You'll be prepared to discuss everything with confidence, no matter how intimate or embarrassing it gets.
5. Understand The Legal Criteria Of Your Case
Your attorney will help you to understand what about your case makes it fit the criteria for legal pursuit; however, in general, the following conditions must be met:
- You have a clear doctor-patient relationship with the physician in question.
- The physician made real, quantifiable mistakes.
- The mistakes led to injury or harm.
- You have been caused pain, suffering, anguish, monetary and work losses or loss of quality of life as a result of the harm (caused directly by the doctor).
When you see how your particular situation fits in with the legal criteria, you will feel some sense of relief, knowing there are written and enforceable laws in place which are protecting you. If you begin to be overwhelmed by the case and what it's done to you, try to think in more clinical and legal terms, with the knowledge that there is a light at the end of this tunnel and there should be a happy ending in it for you, even if you aren't fully able to return to the way you were before the malpractice.
6. Consider Other Patients Who Might Remain Silent
While speaking up about an embarrassing and personal medical condition is hard, not speaking up is even worse. The more cases that are brought to light, the more doctors and lawyers can learn from them, hopefully taking the steps needed to avoid repeating the harmful mistakes that were made. For every one person that speaks up and sues, like you, there might be many more who have simply crawled away in humiliation, foregoing justice for the sake of avoiding the embarrassment.
7. Focus On Your Physical Healing And Mental Well-Being
Outside of your lawsuit, you shouldn't allow yourself to be consumed by what happened to you, as difficult as it may be to try to forget about it. Find a new doctor who addresses your medical needs adequately, which should set your mind at ease in many aspects. Consider the medical malpractice lawsuit the doctor's mistake and not any kind of reflection on you personally. Doctor's errors can lead to all kinds of stress and trauma for patients, but if you're ever to return to a normal life, you have to put the case in its place and concentrate on healing, both mentally and physically.
The good news, when you're pursuing a medical malpractice case against a doctor over a seriously embarrassing medical situation, is that one day soon, it will be behind you. Hopefully you're awarded just compensation for the trying times you've endured and the medical professionals responsible never make the same mistakes again. Click here to find more info.Share