If your child recently had a bowel obstruction, the speed at which the obstruction was diagnosed and the way the condition was managed can have lasting consequences. Without the correct treatment, a bowel obstruction can cut off blood flow to some of the intestinal tissue, causing permanent tissue death. If you believe your child's doctor was negligent in diagnosing or treating a bowel obstruction, you have the right to file a medical malpractice lawsuit in your local court system. Here are five ways to strengthen your case if you decide to proceed with a lawsuit.
1. Document the name and job title of every person involved in your child's care.
You shouldn't file a lawsuit until you have consulted with a personal injury attorney about the strength of your case. By the time you meet with an attorney and develop a case strategy, there is a chance some of the people involved in your child's care will have changed jobs or started working for other employers. Because these people are potential witnesses, you need to write down their names and job titles as soon as possible after your child's bowel obstruction. If you have the name of each person involved in your child's care, it will be much easier to track down witnesses for depositions or court hearings.
2. Write a detailed account of everything that happened before and after your child was diagnosed with a bowel obstruction.
If you wait several months to write down what happened while your child was in the hospital, there's a good chance you'll forget important details. These details could be crucial to your case, so it's important to write them down as soon as possible. Document any symptoms your child experienced at the time of the obstruction, such as abdominal pain, vomiting, diarrhea, or constipation. Be sure to thoroughly summarize the conversations you had with every doctor, nurse, and technician who cared for your child.
3. Start a daily journal to make it easier to document any post-surgery complications.
If your child continues to experience problems after being treated for a bowel obstruction, document each problem in a daily journal. Write a detailed description of the problem and a list of symptoms your child experiences. If you take your child to the pediatrician's office or emergency room for additional treatment, summarize each visit in detail. Be sure to note if your child has a fever, rapid pulse, or any other signs of post-surgery complications.
4. Take photographs of your child's incision to document evidence of infection or poor surgical technique.
An infected surgical wound is one of the potential complications associated with medical malpractice. If your child develops a wound infection, taking photographs of the incision can help strengthen your case once it goes to court. Using a high-quality digital camera, take pictures of the wound from several angles. Make sure you take photos on a daily basis so you have a better chance of capturing photographic evidence of redness, swelling, or discharge from the incision.
5. Give your attorney copies of all medical bills related to your child's diagnosis and treatment.
When you file a medical malpractice case, you must be able to prove that the doctor's negligence caused specific damages. If your child was hospitalized longer than usual due to complications caused by delayed diagnosis or improper treatment of a bowel obstruction, the additional medical expenses you incurred are an example of specific damages. Give copies of all your bills to your attorney so it is easier to determine how much you should ask for when you file a medical malpractice lawsuit.
A skilled doctor should be able to diagnose and treat a bowel obstruction based on a child's symptoms and the results of X-rays and other imaging studies. If your child's doctor did not diagnose and treat a bowel obstruction in a timely manner, you shouldn't have to bear the cost of paying for ongoing medical treatments. Contact one of the personal injury attorneys in your area to find out how much your case might be worth and discuss any potential challenges you might face if you decide to file a lawsuit.
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