The Journal of the American Medical Association or JAMA cites medical negligence as the third leading cause of death in patients in the U.S.—it’s right up there, behind heart disease and cancer, Forbes reported. And with payouts increasing every year—reaching $230 million in 2014 alone, says The Daily Caller, the numbers are alarming enough to worry anyone.

Here’s what you can do to deal with the situation if it happens to you:

Know what you’re dealing with

Know if you’ve got a medical malpractice case on your hands. Any mistake on the part of your doctor that harmed you or put you at greater risk or injury is a cause for filing a medical malpractice case.

Medical Negligence

This refers to any mistake or omission on the part of your doctor. So if the doctor failed to inform you of the proper dosage of your drugs or prescribed the wrong medication or misdiagnosed your condition, then you’ve got grounds for a medical malpractice suit.

Injury or damage

However, before you file one, you need to show how that misdiagnosis, improper dosage or wrong prescription hurt and damaged you in any way. Other medical errors—like amputating the wrong arm or leaving a medical instrument behind or getting the wrong treatment, are all cause to file a claim.

Contact a lawyer

The best way to get that lawsuit started on the right foot is to hire medical malpractice lawyers in Urbana as soon as you can. With legal representatives by your side, you can start the ball rolling. The sooner you do, the sooner you can get the compensation you need. Putting it off or dragging it out can put you in a serious financial bind so it’s best to get this over with as soon as you can. And with the right help, you can.