Medical malpractice is more commonplace than we care to admit in this day and age. But many cases go unnoticed because the patient can’t tell if the treatment was wrong or it was fate. Malpractice still remains the third leading cause of death in the USA, and things might have gotten worse over the last year.
Fortunately, there are some signs that you as a patient can take into consideration to check whether your treating doctor was at fault or not. Only then can you file a medical malpractice case.
Signs to Look Out For
Not many patients have extensive medical and health knowledge and therefore can fall easy victims to malpractice. Here are certain things you can look out for.
1. Patient History Taking
When you visit a new doctor, they are supposed to take a detailed history which includes plenty of questions that the patient needs to answer, such as:
- What is the chief complaint?
- Is there a drug use history?
- Do you have any past allergic reactions?
- Have you had surgeries in the past?
- Have you filled out the new patient medical history form?
After a clear analysis of what the patient is asking for and what seems to be the actual problem, the doctor can make a diagnosis. A malpractice-prone doctor may not invest that much time discussing with you and then reaching a conclusion.
When a diagnosis is made, a doctor needs to double-check the initial diagnosis before treatment. That means radiographic diagnosis and clinical diagnosis. Then, after making a confident analysis of every aspect of the chief complaint, the diagnosis is finalized, and a treatment plan is made.
In the case of malpractice, a doctor will provide only symptomatic relief treatments without a proper diagnosis.
3. No Treatment Plan
Treatment should be based on the diagnosis and medical history shared by the patient. There should be no change in the treatment plan unless the patient wants it to due to adverse effects.
A bad doctor will not jot down a treatment plan, may just prescribe medicine for symptom relief, and never tell you what might be wrong with you.
4. Pain after Treatment
If your doctor prescribes you surgery, post-op care is supposed to be your treating doctor’s duty to make sure you recover properly. In malpractice cases, you may know your doctor is at fault when your pain has not subsided, or surgery seems to have made things worse.
After a successful surgery, stitches should not ooze with pus. If it happens, you know that the surgeon has used faulty techniques, old instruments, or non-sterilized equipment. Such complications can be life-threatening and need to be reported.
6. No Follow-Up
Around 40% of the success of treatment involving an invasive procedure like surgery depends on the follow-up of the patients. If post-surgery, the treating doctor neglects follow-up procedures and discharges you with no questions asked, your doctor might be at fault for your condition getting worse.
How to Get Compensation for Malpractice
Suppose you are sure that your doctor has injured you with a faulty procedure or has breached their legal duty of care toward you in any other way. You can hire an experienced attorney, like this lawyer for personal injuries in Minnesota, and pursue an injury case against such a doctor.
Personal injury lawyers are highly trained professionals in compensating their clients with both economic and non-economic damages. They know how to navigate the system and make a strong case on behalf of their clients even against the entities that kept the negligent or incompetent health care professional on their payroll.
Wilma Wiliams is a law school graduate and a part-time freelance blogger, focused on various legal topics such as personal injury, and bankruptcy. She’s passionate about educating the public on fighting for their rights, which is why she’s currently collaborating with Ask LLP: Lawyers for Justice, whilst actively sharing a part of her experience as a former lawyer.
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