If you have a disabled loved one, whether he or she is a parent, a child, a sibling, or another relative, you know that he or she likely cannot advocate for him- or herself in interactions with healthcare providers. If you are this individual’s legal guardian or have power of attorney for him or her, a significant part of your role is advocating for him or her in these and other interactions.

Use the guidelines below to be a better advocate for your disabled loved one during interactions with his or her healthcare providers. By acting as your loved one’s advocate, you can reduce his or her chance of suffering from an act of malpractice. If malpractice does occur, you will need to advocate for his or her corrective care and potentially take legal action on his or her behalf to seek compensation for the resulting damages through a medical malpractice claim.

Have your Loved One’s Medical Record Handy at All Times

Do not go to doctor appointments without a copy of your loved one’s medical record. You can use this as a valuable reference during discussions about his or her current and previous conditions. Having easy access to a complete medical record can make it easier for the doctor to discern the correct treatment plan.

Ask Questions at All Doctor Appointments

Come to each appointment prepared to ask questions. Ask about the potential causes of a condition, the treatment plan and how to implement it, and signs to watch out for that can indicate a worsening problem. If necessary, write these questions down and refer to your notes. Take notes during your discussion with the doctor so you can better understand your loved one’s condition, prognosis, and treatment.

Carefully Monitor your Loved One’s Recovery and Progress

Report back to the doctor about your loved one’s recovery progress. If the doctor determines that your loved one is not recovering according to his or her plan, he or she can act to determine and correct the mistake. Without this dialogue, it can be easy for a disabled patient’s condition to worsen without others noticing.

Look into Resources for Disabled Adults in your Area

There are many resources available for disabled individuals. These include the National Disability Rights Network (NDRN), Tash, and the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU). These groups can provide you with training and support to be the best advocate possible for your disabled loved one.

Work with an Experienced Chicago Medical Malpractice Lawyer

You are your disabled loved one’s advocate. It is your job to ensure that he or she receives the medical care he or she needs and if your loved one suffers because of a healthcare provider’s negligence, it is your job to take steps to recover compensation for his or her damages. The first step in this process is to speak with an experienced medical malpractice lawyer about the case. Contact our team at Baizer Kolar, P.C. today to set up your initial consultation with us.