Believe me, getting injured is not worth the money you can get in settlement or at trial with a personal injury like me. It never is. I have represented hundreds of clients over the years, and every single one of them would have gladly returned the money in exchange for turning back the clock to their pre-injury life. Although obviously no one can turn a clock back (well, except for Marty McFly in “Back to the Future”), there is a lot we all can do to reduce the odds that a serious accident – one of life’s great wrecking balls – will strike us.
In my line of work, I see accident victims all the time. Most serious injuries I see happen while my clients are operating a motor vehicle or dangerous machinery or when they are working from heights. To help avoid or minimize these injuries, drive carefully, don’t get distracted, wear seatbelts, wear helmets when required or advisable, use the right safety equipment, use eye protection when using power equipment, and don’t drink when you are using machinery of any kind. The point is this: Even when your injuries are largely someone else’s fault, you still might avoid or minimize the injuries if you just use your common sense.
What about Medical Malpractice? Can you avoid being a victim of that kind of injury? This is an important question because medical malpractice is now the third leading cause of death (after heart disease and cancer) in America.
Although you can’t avoid all malpractice, here are some simple steps you can take to minimize the likelihood that you or your loved ones will fall victim to a medical provider’s carelessness:
- Let’m Know. Does the hospital or surgery center know about your pre-existing health conditions and allergies? About the prescription drugs you regularly take? Make sure they know so they don’t mistakenly hurt you.
- Buddy up. If you are going in for surgery, always bring an advocate (friend or family member) with you. When you are out cold or impaired by narcotics, it pays to have a loved one there who is “all there” to make sure you are getting proper care and help you sign any paperwork. Before going in, you should ensure he or she has permission to get the lowdown from your docs about your status.
- Check Prescriptions. Your doctor writes you a script for drugs. And then you bring it to a pharmacist. Is your job done? No! When the pharmacist hands you the drugs, check to make sure the label matches the prescription the doctor gave you. Prescription errors are common and sometimes deadly.
- Follow Up. If you have a test done, don’t just assume it must have been fine if no one calls you about it. As my fourth grade teacher used to say, ASSUME makes an ASS out of U and ME! Always call to ask for the results and to know whether you need to follow up.
- Doc Shop. Do you check consumer reviews before you buy a car? Good for you. Now do the same thing for doctors. These days, there’s tons of information online. Read the reviews, see whether the doctor has been sued for malpractice multiple times, compare hospital infection rates, etc.. Just google “how to check my doctor online”. This will get you started.
Bottom line: Some people think their most important job is to make money. It’s not. It’s to avoid getting killed or injured. It’s dangerous out there. And even if you follow all my advice, you can end up at the wrong end of someone else’s careless practices. If and when that happens (god forbid!) call me. You take care of getting better, I take care of getting you justice.
Email me at: firstname.lastname@example.org I’d love to hear from you!
Syracuse NY Personal Injury Lawyers
Michaels & Smolak, P.C.