No. 1: Iowa Law Makes Patients or Their Families Responsible for Investigating Bad Medical Results
If you suspect that a loved one was seriously injured or killed by a medical error, you cannot sit back and wait for the doctor or hospital to come forward and do the right thing. In Iowa, it is your responsibility – either as the injured patient or as the family of the injured patient – to investigate suspicious medical treatment.
No one else – not the doctor, not the hospital, not the government – is going to take action to pursue a potential medical malpractice case.
Iowa law says that the time for taking action begins as soon as you are aware of an injury or death occurring during medical treatment – even if you are not sure that a medical error is to blame. How does an ordinary person find out whether a medical mistake was made? If a loved one has died during medical treatment, the first step is deciding whether to request an autopsy to determine the official cause of death.
This decision can make or break a medical malpractice case and should not be made without consulting with an experienced Iowa medical malpractice attorney. If medical treatment results in a serious and permanent injury, the first step often involves seeking further medical treatment and/or a second opinion from an independent and unbiased medical provider.
It is important to seek this further medical treatment from someone who is not affiliated with the medical professional who is suspected of committing the error.
Taking the actions described above to investigate a bad medical result is critical because Iowa law has strict deadlines for either filing or settling medical malpractice claims. If you miss one of those deadlines, you can lose the right to any compensation for a medical error.
Accurately calculating which legal deadlines apply to your potential malpractice claim usually requires consulting with an experienced Iowa medical malpractice attorney.
To find out the rest of the 7 Things to Know About Iowa Medical Malpractice claims, use the form to the right to download the entire Law Guide to Iowa Medical Malpractice Claims.