Every year, an estimated 99,000 people die of infections acquired in a healthcare setting, and another 1.7 million become ill. This largely preventable problem may cost the United States as much as $45 billion per year, but it doesn't need to wipe out your finances as well. If you have recently contracted MRSA as a result of your stay in a hospital, nursing home or other medical facility, you may have grounds to file a medical malpractice claim. As you consider your options to seek compensation for your time and suffering, keep these three steps in mind to ensure that your case is as viable as possible.
Documenting Your Relationship With the Physician
Before you can move on with any case, you will need to be able to show that you were the patient of the physician you intend to sue, and that that physician was responsible for your care before you developed the infection. This simple piece of information should be available through the hospital's records, but you should keep your own log of appointments and procedures in case conflicts arise. If you are given informed consent of the possibility of infection before undergoing a procedure such as surgery, keep a copy of the document for your own personal records as well. This will give your attorney a better idea of the feasibility of your claim and the best strategy to pursue it.
Demonstrating Physician Negligence
Becoming sick while in the hospital may not be enough for you to claim malpractice. In order to be eligible for damages, you need to prove that you became sick as a direct result of negligence on the part of your physician. Evidence of unsanitary conditions or a risky surgery while you were vulnerable to infection, for example, may be enough to settle the case quickly. Your medical malpractice attorney will help you investigate the cause of your illness while collecting credible testimony, based on the unique details of your situation. Often, medical experts will be called in to provide more details about your infection and how you may have been exposed to it.
Proving Unnecessary Medical Expenses and Lost Income
Even if you have a strong case for medical malpractice after developing a MRSA infection, you must fight to receive the compensation you deserve. This means collecting all of the medical expenses you incurred fighting your infection and any complications caused by it, as well as a reasonable estimate of the income you have lost due to your extended stay in the hospital. By working with an experienced attorney, you stand a much better chance of not only winning your case, but also recovering your losses. If you believe that you have been the victim of medical malpractice but are not sure that your case can make it to court, contact your local malpractice attorney like one from McLaughlin & Lauricella, P.C. for an expert consultation.