The consequences of medical malpractice can be devastating, from physical pain and mental anguish to lost wages and excessive medical bills. In order to sue, you need to be able to prove the injury and damages you’ve suffered occurred as a direct result of substandard care by a doctor. Courts typically rely upon expert testimony to determine if a medical provider has been negligent, reckless, or exhibited intentionally harmful conduct.
Medical negligence occurs when a health care provider fails to meet the expected standards of competence and care for their patient. As an experienced birth injury lawyer – including those who practice at Royce Injury Attorneys, LLC – can confirm, it isn’t always easy to determine whether a surgical complication, birth injury, or delayed diagnosis “rises to the standard” of medical malpractice at a glance. How can you know if your doctor’s conduct qualifies as malpractice? You’ll need to speak with an experienced attorney about your unique situation. No two medical negligence scenarios are exactly the same, so it is important to avoid making assumptions about your case until it has been properly evaluated. With that said, there are some common “red flags” that can alert patients to a possible medical malpractice situation:
Your Diagnosis Was Wrong or Overly Delayed
Diagnostic errors are one of the most common reasons for medical malpractice suits. A doctor might wrongly diagnose a patient and thus administer an ineffective or even detrimental course of treatment. Negligent providers sometimes miss underlying conditions, overlook dangerous complications, or ignore related illnesses. Even a delayed diagnosis could be considered malpractice if the doctor failed to identify the patient’s illness within a reasonable timeframe.
Your Doctor Did Not Inform You of Risks
If your medical provider failed to disclose important information about a procedure or medication and you underwent a course of treatment you might not have otherwise chosen to proceed with, you may be able to sue for medical malpractice over any harm caused by that treatment. Because doctors must abide by the duty of informed consent, they’re required to explain to patients the risks of any treatments they administer, including surgeries, therapy services and prescription medicines.
Your Treatment Was Inadequate and Harmful
Medical care below the standard expected of a health care professional can result in unnecessary suffering and loss. For example, your doctor may prescribe the wrong type or amount of medication. Surgery and anesthesia might lead to severe complications. Birth injuries can cause lasting health problems for mothers and children. When a doctor or other medical provider administers treatment in a negligent manner that leads to injury, the affected patient may have strong grounds upon which to file a medical malpractice suit.
Anyone who has suffered because of the negligence of a doctor or other health care provider should seek legal consultation to help navigate this complex area of the law. If you believe you’ve experienced damages and injury caused by substandard medical care, contact a medical malpractice lawyer to learn about your rights and options under the law.