Signs you May Have a Medical Malpractice Claim
Would you know if you were the victim of medical malpractice or a medical mistake? How would you know? In today’s post, our Houston medical malpractice lawyer discusses medical mistakes and some of the signs that you may have a medical malpractice claim.
What are Medical Mistakes?
The medical profession is not an easy one. Every day, doctors make numerous decisions about diagnoses, treatment options and prognoses. Decisions that impact the patient and his or her loved ones. Most doctors have the best interests of their patients at heart. These doctors strive to uphold patient rights and the follow the standard of care.
Unfortunately, even the most careful and conscientious doctors can make mistakes. In fact, medical errors occur far more frequently than most people would care to know.
That is not to say that there are not doctors out there who don’t care about patient safety or following medical guidelines. Of course, these doctors also exist. But they are not the standard. Most medical errors are the result of errors in judgment causing a doctor to deviate from the medical standard of care.
Medical Mistakes and Medical Malpractice
All healthcare providers are required to follow a standard of care when diagnosing or treating a medical condition. If they are negligent, or fail to provide the standard of care, then the patient may have a claim for medical malpractice. How do you know if you have a medical malpractice case?
The best way to determine if you have an actionable medical malpractice case is to consult with an attorney. In the meantime, here are a few signs that you may have a claim that may spur your decision to contact Brown, Christie & Green for a free consultation.
Signs you May Have a Medical Malpractice Claim
If you think you may be the victim of medical malpractice, consider these important factors in determining if you have a case.
The Healthcare Provider Breached the Duty of Care
In order for your unfortunate medical outcome to qualify as medical malpractice, the healthcare provider in question must have had a duty of care to you. That means that you and the healthcare provider have a professional relationship. If their care toward you was in a professional capacity and was inaccurate or inappropriate, then you may have a medical malpractice claim.
Examples of inaccurate or inappropriate care include:
- Failing to diagnose a medical condition
- Misdiagnosing a medical condition as something else
- Providing an incomplete diagnosis
- Failing to provide treatment in a timely manner
You Suffered Harm due to the Healthcare Provider’s Actions
If you suffer harm due to a healthcare provider’s actions or inaction, then you may have an actionable medical malpractice claim. Doctors must perform diagnostic testing and determine what is actually ailing patients. Failing to do this can result in the patient experiencing worsening symptoms or complications. For example, if a doctor diagnoses you with acid reflux but you are actually having a heart attack, you may suffer permanent damage to your heart.
In addition to the physical harm you may experience, such a misdiagnosis can also cause you to lose money. You may have to repeat diagnostic procedures and see more doctors before you get an accurate diagnosis. You may also experience more costly medical care if your condition has advanced. This may all also require time away from work, which takes money out of your pocket.
There was a Lack of Due Diligence
Due diligence is a legal term that means the “reasonable steps taken by a person in order to satisfy a legal requirement.” In terms of medical care, a doctor must do his or her due diligence in following the standard of care for assessing symptoms, diagnosing and treating a patient. A doctor who does not do his or her due diligence is one that:
- Fails to recognize and assess symptoms
- Fails to collect an accurate patient history
- Misreads or ignores lab test results
- Fails to follow up with the patient
- Fails to provide aftercare instructions
You Were Prescribed the Wrong Medication
Medication errors are unfortunately common, and can be extremely dangerous. All medications have risks and possible side effects, but it is up to your doctor to assess the risks and benefits and make the best decision for your care. That includes prescribing the correct medication for your symptoms after considering factors like your medical history, current medications and risk factors.
Many medications can cause side effects if you take them without needing them. Others can interact with both prescription and over-the-counter medications, including supplements. If you have a medical condition that requires a certain medication and you don’t have it, then your symptoms may worsen or become life-threatening.
You Suffered a Surgical Error
As traumatic as it is to imagine, surgical errors are a common cause of medical malpractice claims. Surgical errors occur when the surgeon:
- Performs the wrong operation
- Operates on the wrong part of the body
- Operates on the wrong patient
- Leaves a surgical tool inside the patient
- Fails to monitor vitals during surgery
If you experienced any of these surgical errors, you may have a medical malpractice claim.
What to Do if You Suspect Medical Malpractice
Whether the negligence that harmed you was intentional or purely accidental, you have rights as a patient. If you suspect medical malpractice, contact an attorney as soon as possible to discuss your situation.
At Brown, Christie & Green, we specialize in helping clients protect their rights after being harmed by medical negligence. We can help you sort through your experience and determine if you have an actionable claim. If so, we will stay by your side through every step of the legal process in an effort to recover the compensation that you deserve.
Schedule your free consultation with a medical malpractice lawyer by calling 1-800-600-4210. You can also email us via our online contact form and we will get back in touch with you as soon as possible.