When we visit our healthcare providers, we inherently put a vast amount of trust in them, essentially placing our wellbeing in their hands. While some treat this trust with the respect it deserves, tending to patients in a manner that upholds the standard of care set for their profession, others make mistakes, ignore regulations, or administer subpar care to their patients, which can lead to life-altering- or fatal consequences. If you or a loved one suffered an injury caused by a negligent healthcare provider, it is important to understand the steps you need to take to report it.
Reporting a Hospital or Doctor
Medical errors should always be reported to a state’s medical complaint board. This process can vary from state to state, though it generally involves a form in which the complainant identifies all relevant parties and describes the mistakes that occurred and the harm that resulted. In some states, after submitting a report, the doctor or hospital might not be sanctioned and the complainant might not even be contacted regarding the report. This often means that the event was seen as an isolated incident due to the strong professional record of the party or parties in question. A report is still significant, however, and the more complaints a doctor or hospital receives, the more likely it is for a board to sanction them.
In addition to filing a report with a state’s medical complaint board, injured patients might also consider consumer websites that allow them to rank the quality of care received from a doctor or hospital. This will help notify other potential patients since reports made to state medical complaint boards are generally not made public.
Information Needed to File a Report
When filing a report, it is not necessary for a patient to submit a medical opinion. It is understood that patients reporting medical errors are not doctors. Instead, patients should make an effort to include as many details as possible regarding the incident, especially firsthand information.
What Happens if the State Board Agrees
If the state board agrees with you, this does not initiate a medical malpractice lawsuit, nor does it mean you automatically established medical negligence if you decide to move forward with legal action. Filing a report with the state board is intended to only affect the ability of the doctor or hospital to continue practicing, rather than to compensate the patient for injuries sustained.
Although filing a report will not initiate a lawsuit, the insurance company associated with the responsible parties might view the report as a precursor to one and might attempt to offer money to settle the issue. If you are offered a settlement, do not accept it before consulting with an attorney. If you accept the offer, you will no longer be able to sue for medical malpractice for your injuries since signing a release of rights would be part of the deal. An experienced medical malpractice attorney will be able to estimate the value of your damages and determine whether or not the offer is acceptable.
Medical Malpractice Attorneys in Houston
Medical malpractice cases tend to be incredibly complex and require experienced legal assistance to ensure maximum compensation. At Hampton & King, our Houston legal team is backed by more than 60 years of combined experience and is one of the only firms to have an MD and a Ph.D. nurse on staff. We are more than equipped to effectively handle your medical malpractice case and pride ourselves on helping clients others have turned away. Our skilled medical malpractice attorneys are able to take on a wide range of cases, including birth injuries, treatment errors, diagnosis mistakes, surgical errors, medical device failures, and more.
Contact our office today at (713) 489-0993 to schedule a free consultation with a knowledgeable member of our team.