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What to Do If You Have Been Injured Because of the Wrong Medical Treatment

Your medical law practice attorney will advise you regarding the options and, where possible, will get a settlement rather than going through extensive litigation to gain compensation for damages suffered because of medical negligence or malpractice. That being said, in some instances, litigation will be the best route.

To ensure that the medical law attorney can assess the merits of the particular claim, you will need to collect as much relevant information and supporting evidence as possible. Understandably, not all the information and documents will be readily available for the first appointment. Fortunately, the attorney will be able to make an initial assessment and if the decision is made to proceed with a claim or lawsuit, the attorney will contact the relevant parties to get the information on your behalf.


As with personal injury claims and lawsuits, there is a timeframe in which you can lodge a claim or take legal steps against the offender. You must take the necessary legal steps within three years of the incident, but note that various factors are taken into consideration to determine whether you can still initiate legal steps against the offending medical practitioner or hospital. It is thus best to get legal guidance regarding your particular situation.

Supporting Evidence

Doctors sometimes make mistakes, but not all the mistakes necessarily lead to serious injury and damages. As such, it is important to determine whether the damages and injuries sustained are substantial enough to warrant litigation. For this purpose, keep all prescription medicine receipts, statements and invoices related to your claim. Also keep the records of hospital visits, as well as the invoices and receipts for additional medical treatments at other medical practitioners following the malpractice and directly related to the incident or treatment which has caused the damages.


If you have not been harmed by the mistake, misdiagnosis, failure to act or sub-standard level of care, then there is no medical malpractice. You must have suffered injury because of the practitioner’s actions or failure to act.

The court will determine whether the practitioner adhered to a reasonable standard of medical practice care, which is a level of care that another qualified and prudent medical care practitioner with the same level of experience and with the same level of training would have provided under the same or similar circumstances in the particular patient community.

It can be difficult to dispute and the malpractice attorney will contact relevant medical professionals to determine whether they would have taken other steps, or would they have followed the same route and procedures. They will be called upon as expert witnesses. The expert witness will have to explain the standard procedure of care and how the treatment you received was below the reasonable standard of care, as well as explain how the treatment caused you to suffer injury.

You can receive compensation related to the physical injury sustained, the financial losses experienced because of the inability to work as the result of the injury, additional care that you had to receive, the emotional injury suffered, relevant medical expenses, and aftercare costs.

What next?

Gather all the receipts and documented proof that you already have, write down the details of the condition and treatment, dates, details of possible witnesses, and make an appointment with us to discuss the particulars of the malpractice and the damages you have suffered.


Note that the information in this article is for information purposes only and should not be seen as an attempt to provide legal advice. We strongly recommend that you contact us at Adele van der Walt Incorporated for professional legal advice.

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