When the cancer diagnosis had been established, I did not immediately think of complaints and legal procedures. That message needs time to settle. Must find a place. And that takes some time. Only months later I was ready to see everything in the right persective and came to the conclusion that there were some significant gaps in the whole process.
It took a while, but eventually I had gathered enough information to file a complaint against the local hospital. And it feels good when an independent complaints committee of that same hospital finally confirmed that indeed errors had been made. Not that it improved my situation, but it is at least an acknowledgment, that I, as a layman in the medical field, was right. And not the hospital. Nor the physicians concerned.
The next step is to get your legal right. Strengthened by the decisions of the complaints committee I decided to start that process. Meaning that I had to talk with the liability insurer of the hospital. At the first exploratory meeting it was immediately clear that, because the medical field is for me an unknown world, I had to look for a party who could help me. Someone who knew the way and spoke the language.
An internet search revealed that there are personal injury specialists who can help you with that. And, they all say, that it will cost you absolutely nothing. Whereby a reference is made to legislation whereby they can charge their fees and expenses to the responsible party. And since in the meantime my company was declared bankrupt and I had no income, that sounded like music to my ears. But I was looking for experienced, reliable and professional support and no moonlighter.
After careful research, I therefore chose an experienced personal injury specialist who met all safeguards including a Certified Personal Injury Quality Mark which was founded in collaboration with the Netherlands Victim Support and the Ombudsman. I even checked that, to see if they were really known and registered. And only when was established that all looked solid, they were contacted. Whereupon a representative came for a first introductory meeting.
I told my story, showed the decision of the complaints committee and provided all available documentation and correspondence. The personal injury specialist was confident and went right to work. With the assurance that I would never be faced with unexpected surprises. And indeed, one day later the data had been included in a file that could be viewed directly through the internet. In short, it looked trustworthy.
His first action was a meeting with the liability insurer of the hospital. And right after that I got a message. The interview went well. Although liability had not (yet) been fully recognized, they wanted to continue talking. And therefore there was a proposal to contact a medical consultant, because it was important for medical errors to be as strong as possible. Great idea. Do it immediately ….! And that was also the last thing I heard. The phone was not answered and there came no response at mail messages and even registered letters. Eventually, I was forced to terminate the deal with this specialist.
Once again, anything that could go wrong, was going wrong and I was back again to square one. A matter of very deep breathing, to remain positive and then see whether there are other possibilities. Because also here applies: never, never give up.
(When you currently look at the website of personal injury specialist, you will not find a thing about all those safeguards and certifications, and they are also not mentioned anymore at the Certified Personal Injury Quality Mark. Apparently they drowned when they had to help me.)