Preventable medical errors are the third leading cause of death in the United States, following closely behind heart disease and cancer.
Yet, there is a misconception that medical malpractice cases are only sought after by scammers who are trying to make a quick buck. Whenever you seek medical care, it is important to always listen to your body and to speak up when something seems confusing or incorrect.
Doing so can help ensure that you will always receive proper medical care.
Also, if you find yourself thinking “Do I have a medical malpractice case?” this guide will help answer your question. Just keep reading.
Do I Have a Medical Malpractice Case?
Sure, we all want to believe that our doctors and other medical professionals are properly trained to help us when we’re hurt or ill. But the truth is, procedures can still get performed incorrectly, mistakes with medication can be made, and it is possible that not all patients are given enough care and attention.
In events like these, it is important to gather your medical records and contact a medical malpractice lawyer about a possible malpractice case right away. In this section, you will find in-depth scenarios to help you make a decision about your own situation.
1. The Prescribed Treatment Isn’t Helping You
If your doctor prescribed a treatment that isn’t working, it’s possible that you have been misdiagnosed. In the event of a misdiagnosis, you are at a higher risk of becoming sicker or developing more injuries.
In situations like these, the patient is always the victim. Think about it this way, if your doctor is treating you for an illness you don’t have, there’s an existing ailment that you aren’t receiving treatment for. Because illnesses tend to worsen with time, your health may continue to deteriorate while you get treatment for something you don’t actually have.
Additionally, if you are on medication for the illness you were misdiagnosed with, you can develop dangerous side effects from exposing your body to a drug it never needed.
2. Your Doctor Doesn’t Follow-Up with Your Concerns
It is common for anyone who receives a diagnosis to address their doctor with questions and concerns. If your doctor isn’t following up, providing you with adequate information, or seems rushed you aren’t being provided with the right amount of medical attention.
Your doctor should always take your concerns seriously and discuss treatment plans with you in great detail.
3. Surgical Errors
Surgeries naturally come with a lot of risks, but there are some that can be avoided completely. Some surgical errors that patients file and win lawsuits for include:
Complications like infections because tools weren’t properly sterilized
Injuries obtained from being placed on the surgical table carelessly
Receiving the wrong surgery
These errors are all signs of patient neglect and the surgeon and surgical staff should all be held responsible.
4. Mistreatment Resulting in Death
Mistreatment resulting in death can mean several things. For example, providing a patient with the wrong medication, performing the incorrect surgery, or simply ignoring a patient and their needs fall into this category.
If you think your loved one’s death was a result of one of the above signs of malpractice or something similar, you should contact an attorney right away.
5. Someone on Your Medical Team Admitted Fault
This one is sometimes hard to admit, as it can become a case of “he said, she said.” However, if your doctor, nurse, or another member of your medical team admits fault that resulted in an injury or death, it will most likely be considered medical malpractice.
Keep in mind that doctors have a lot to lose, so it’s rare that they will ever admit their wrongs. With that said, you always need an experienced attorney on your side to help argue your case.
6. Anesthesia Mistakes
Mistakes with a patient’s anesthesia can be the result of:
- An IV flow rate that isn’t properly controlled
- Errors with documentation
- Problems with dosing
- Unintentional administration of anesthetics
Some of these mistakes stem from not reviewing your medical history, failing to monitor your vitals properly, and improper equipment.
7. Lack of Informed Consent
Surgeries and other medical procedures come with the possibility of complications. Part of your doctor’s job is to explain the risks and benefits of any procedure or treatment prior to performing them.
With that said, lack of informed consent means your doctor didn’t explain all of the risks of treatment and if they had explained them, you wouldn’t have agreed to it. The second example is that the doctor performed a procedure that you didn’t agree to.
In these types of malpractice cases, the patient would have needed to experience harm.
8. The Treatment Plan and Your Condition Don’t Match
Oftentimes, medical malpractice lawsuits stem from expensive treatments that are way more involved than what the patient truly needs. Invasive tests and surgeries shouldn’t ever be the first line of treatment.
Instead, they should be the last resort after having tried less invasive options.
If you think your doctor is doing more than required, get a second opinion. Doing so can help your lawsuit.
9. The Facility is Understaffed
If a medical facility is understaffed and you do not receive adequate medical treatment as a result, you can have a malpractice case. This is especially true if the neglect has caused problems and further damage to your health.
Not only can pursuing a case help you receive compensation to pay for better medical care, but it can also help other patients who are suffering too.
10. You Have New Symptoms
This one is a little tricky and can be hard to prove. But if you have new symptoms after receiving medical treatment, it’s possible that you can have a solid medical malpractice case.
Typically, the new symptoms will have to be a result of negligence, improper treatment, or something else along that line. You usually can’t claim mild pain in the surgical area as a new symptom because it is a side effect of most surgeries.
Medical malpractice is a terrifying situation that no one should have to deal with. But if you think you have been treated wrongfully by a medical professional, there are ways you can seek help.
If you’re asking yourself, “Do I have a medical malpractice case?” you probably do. Contact us today for a consultation with one of our attornies.