Medical lawsuits are serious claims. If you believe you may be a victim of medical negligence, here are 3 sure ways to spot medical malpractice.
Keyword(s): medical lawsuits
The mere thought of thinking that you may be a victim of medical malpractice by the medical provider you trusted with your health is nothing short of scary. However, just like any other professionals, medical providers make mistakes. Most are minor and cause minimal harm to patients, but major errors can lead to disastrous consequences for patients.
According to a study, about 0.8% to 1% or all hospital patients suffer some kind of medical malpractice and only 2.9% of those file medical lawsuits. One of the major reasons why most people don’t file malpractice lawsuits is the fact that medical malpractice is hard to identify.
Medical malpractice is a serious offense. It occurs when medical providers are negligent in the care they provide, resulting in injuries or death of the patients.
In this post, we’ll help you understand key signs of medical malpractice.
- Lack of Informed Consent
Most medical procedures come with certain amounts of risk and possible complications to the patient. A medical practitioner is obligated to explain all the benefits and risks associated with the procedure or medications before any treatment commences. With this information, patients know exactly what to expect.
However, a lack of informed consent could occur when a doctor fails to communicate all this information to the patient before treatment. It also happens if the doctor performs a procedure without the consent of a patient. Finally, if it’s discovered that if the doctor had explained all the risks involved in the procedure or treatment, the patient would have declined or chosen an alternative, it’s medical malpractice.
In a lack of informed consent case, the patient must have suffered harm from the treatment or procedure. The lawyer does not have to prove that the medical practitioner deviated from their standard of care, though. For instance, if a surgeon operating on a patient’s heart to replace a valve notices a problem with the second valve, they may decide to operate on it as well. In this case, the patient has not consented to a procedure for the second valve.
Note that the doctor has not deviated from their standard care because they noticed something wrong with the patient and tried to fix it. If it causes no problem, the patient has no case.
Still, if that second procedure causes long term complications that may lead to other procedures, then the patient has grounds to file medical lawsuits. They were not notified in advance and did not give consent.
- Extraordinary Consequences
Once the doctor explains to you the risks associated with the treatment, then you know what to expect. So if you experience highly unusual risks from what was described, you have a reason to think that a mistake was made with the treatment.
For instance, if after a minor medical procedure, a doctor may tell you to expect a quick recovery time. However, if after a long time you still experience pain and when you go back, they discover that they left a surgical sponge or something else inside during the procedure, then you have every right to sue for medical malpractice.
It doesn’t even have to be about a surgical procedure. If a doctor as much as prescribes antibiotics to you without checking your history for allergies and you end up suffering an allergic reaction, then it’s also malpractice.
- If the Medical Provider Notifies You of the Mistake
The Agency of Healthcare Research and Quality has a CANDOR program that requires healthcare providers to admit to medical errors. Their principles include being honest with patients about the errors that occur during or after treatment. They should also apologize for it, offer compensation, and conduct an investigation about it.
Of course, this still doesn’t apply in all hospitals, and a lot of medical practitioners will not admit to medical errors. This makes it very important for a patient who has suffered harm from medical malpractice to talk to a medical malpractice lawyer who will help get to the bottom of the issue.
Other Signs of Medical Malpractice
The top three signs are the most common and most obvious, but to be sure, there are others you can watch out for. If you notice any of these signs, it may be time for you to file a medical lawsuit.
Failure to Diagnose and Misdiagnosis
These are also quite common occurrences, and you may have experienced them yourself. If the doctor fails to diagnose your disease by missing the early signs or dismisses your symptoms, it may lead to complications later on. This is especially true for delicate illnesses like cancer, where early treatment can make all the difference.
Failure to diagnose or a delayed diagnosis means that cancer will spread and lead to consequences that would have been prevented with early treatment. Misdiagnosis can also be fatal. When a doctor treats you for the wrong disease, the medications administered could cause complications, and so will the real illness.
The best way to catch a misdiagnosis is by getting a second opinion. You may feel that your symptoms don’t match with the diagnosis received. A second opinion will help you know whether you have a medical lawsuit ahead.
Beyond that, you may also receive the wrong medication or wrong dosage, which could also lead to medical complications. The wrong dosage could lead to an overdose, or worse, death. This would be a clear case of malpractice.
Know When to Contact a Lawyer for Medical Lawsuits
If you or your loved one has experienced any of the signs above, then you would be justified to file for medical lawsuits. One of the most important steps of a medical lawsuit is hiring a professional medical malpractice lawyer. They’ll guide you through the process and fight for your rights.
Medical negligence law is very technical. You may encounter pitfalls should you decide to embark on the journey on your own. This makes it vital for anyone who feels they have a malpractice case to get advice from a legal representative.
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