When you go to the doctor, you expect him or her to treat you with a high standard of care. While mistakes may happen in any profession, the doctor has to be held accountable if a mistake puts your life in danger or results in a serious injury or illness. If you feel as though something went wrong with your treatment, you deserve to investigate it. Sometimes medical malpractice is easy to spot, but other times it may seem more ambiguous. For example, you may feel off after starting a new treatment or as if you’re developing symptoms outside the normal side effects. Here is what you need to do to determine whether you have a malpractice claim.
Was There Negligence?
Medical professionals swear an oath to take care of their patients. They have a duty of care that must be upheld no matter what. Negligence occurs when a doctor does not take the same action that his or her peers would in the same situation. If he or she took action that was riskier to your health and resulted in illness, injury or a worsening condition, this is negligence. Some examples of negligence include:
- Medication errors
- Lack of follow-up care
- Surgery complications
Misdiagnosis may sometimes be difficult to pin down. Doctors do not have to be right every time. Mistakes are allowed and some illnesses have overlapping symptoms to other illnesses. However, as a personal injury lawyer from Hayhurst Law, PLLC explains, if a doctor ignored symptoms or ignored a likely diagnosis, he or she may have acted negligently.
Was There Another Opinion?
If you fear you’ve been the victim of medical malpractice, you should visit another doctor as soon as possible. Some patients fear turning their backs on their doctor or that another doctor would be offended to be the second opinion. It is within your rights to see another doctor and receive a second opinion about your diagnosis or treatment. While most doctors will not stand up for each other if acted negligently, you may want to go to an unaffiliated clinic or hospital to receive your second opinion. Another doctor may be able to inform you if your current treatment meets the standard of care or if the care has caused you worse harm.
Suppose you’re unsure about whether you have a claim, set up a consultation with a medical malpractice lawyer as soon as possible. Your lawyer will explain what constitutes a medical malpractice claim, along with helping you collect the appropriate evidence to file your claim.