If you’re considering a case for malpractice or medical negligence, you need to consult with a personal injury lawyer immediately. When it comes to medical malpractice, a personal injury lawyer will look at a few things to tell you whether you’ve got a case.
First, there must be negligence. It’s not enough for a medical professional to make a mistake or have something go wrong in the operating room. They need to have been negligent by performing medical services which were below the acceptable standard of care. Often, people confuse known risks inherent to the procedure with negligence. Below are some common types of medical malpractice:
- Failure to Diagnose
- Failure to Treat Properly
- Failure to Warn of Known Risks
Failure to Diagnose
This allegation is probably the toughest cause for bringing a malpractice suit, especially if it turns out you have a very rare condition that almost no one has heard about. Doctors are subject to many of the same biases and failure to recall as the rest of us, often leading to a failure to diagnose something they’ve never heard of, or only heard of once or twice in medical school. This is why people often look for a second opinion after receiving a diagnosis – it’s a way of checking the doctor’s work.
But if you clearly have all the symptoms of something your doctor should have known about, you can try to build a medical malpractice case based on their failure to diagnose you.
Failure to Properly Treat
This allegation is much easier for building a case. There’s a standard treatment for just about everything these days, although there may be a variety of options for some, and the doctor will choose (or recommend you choose) a particular option based on the specifics of your case. If the doctor fails to follow through on all the normal steps of a treatment, or chooses a treatment option that doesn’t make sense for your case, you can sue them for negligence under failure to treat properly.
Failure to Warn of Known Risks
Every medical procedure comes with risks and your doctor is required to let you know what all of those risks are. You can always choose to refuse a treatment or go with another option, even if it’s against your doctor’s advice, but you need to be able to make an informed decision and you can only do that if you know all the risks involved.
Second, the negligence must be the proximate cause of your injuries or damages. Essentially, all that means is the negligent act must have caused or contributed to cause your injuries. For example, if the doctor were to amputate the wrong leg, but the patient died on the operating table from an unrelated heart attack, then the negligence did not proximately cause the death.
Third, the case must be economically viable and worth pursuing for the client. Medical negligence cases are extremely expensive and often require severe and/or permanent disabling injuries to pursue. Otherwise, it doesn’t make sense for a lawyer to drag his/her client through a lawsuit.
Medical malpractice cases are serious and cannot be taken lightly. It can drag on in the courts for months, or even years, and become very expensive. That’s why it’s important that the very first thing you do when considering a medical malpractice lawsuit is to consult a personal injury lawyer with medical malpractice experience.
If you or a loved one has suffered an injury, negligence from a physician, or some other type of accident, you need the advice of an experienced personal injury lawyer.