What to Do If You Think Your Heart Surgery Complications Were Preventable
Because of its complicated—not to mention invasive—nature, heart surgery is rife with risk. While providers aren’t expected to anticipate every little thing that might go wrong, they must take reasonable measures to protect their patients. That means following the most widely accepted standards of care.
If you suffered complications after undergoing heart surgery but think they could’ve been prevented—i.e. any other provider would have responded differently in the same circumstances—you may have grounds for legal action.
Should you choose to proceed, you can give your claim the best chance of success by taking the following steps:
1. Seek Treatment Elsewhere
While you should let your surgeon know you’re experiencing issues, you may want to visit someone else for treatment if you think they made a mistake. Once you find another qualified provider, follow their instructions diligently. This will not only facilitate your recovery but also demonstrate a commitment to mitigating damages, thereby preventing disputes during the claims process.
2. Preserve Pertinent Records
Your medical records will inevitably serve as the foundation of your claim. As such, it’s imperative that you make copies of all critical documents, to ensure redundancy, and then store them in a safe place. Examples include:
- Diagnostic images;
- Nursing logs;
- Hospitalization records; and
- Pre- and post-op instructions.
You should also photograph your incisions as they heal. Finally, save any correspondence you have with the surgical team and/or the facility where the procedure was performed.
3. Track Recoverable Damages
Before you can recover a single dollar, you’re going to have to prove that you actually incurred damages as a result of the complications you suffered. Therefore, it’s important to save every bill, receipt, and invoice that corresponds to an associated loss.
As for demonstrating non-economic damages, start a personal injury journal. Every day, write a brief entry about how your condition is affecting your everyday life. When it comes time to negotiate for a payout, a stack of detailed entries will help contextualize your medical records so you can seek the maximum payout possible for your pain and suffering.
4. Stay off Social Media
Before you post about the challenges you’re now facing on social media, consider the potential ramifications. The insurance adjuster will likely monitor your online activity in an effort to find cause to challenge your credibility. If there are any discrepancies between what you publish and what you claim, it could seriously hurt your case.
Medical malpractice attorneys generally advise their clients to disable their profiles until their cases have been resolved. If that’s not an option, at least make sure to enable the strictest privacy settings and scrutinize every post carefully before you hit “Publish.”
Call (727) 821-1500 to Discuss Your Case with a Florida Heart Surgery Attorney
If your heart surgeon made a mistake and you ended up suffering complications as a result, contact Emerson Straw. We’ll investigate the circumstances surrounding the procedure and gather the evidence needed to hold all negligent parties accountable. To schedule a free consultation with a heart surgery lawyer in Florida, call (727) 821-1500 or complete our Online Contact Form.