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How Do I Know If I'm the Victim of Medical Malpractice?

We put a lot of trust in our medical professionals. They provide expert advice and care when we begin feeling sick or are otherwise injured. And this trust creates a great responsibility on their part to do all they can to ensure we are taken care of to the best of their abilities.

The majority of medical professionals do a wonderful job of holding themselves to incredibly high standards. However, just like everything else, there are exceptions to this rule. And this is why we have the ability to file medical malpractice claims.

Medical professionals are held to a standard of care. This basically states that you are entitled to competently administered medical help that acts in your best interest. Medical malpractice occurs when a medical professional ends up harming a patient through a failure in their medical duties.

The basic requirements that must be met for a medical malpractice suit are fairly straightforward, even if the application of these requirements can get confusing. You must first be able to show you were a patient of the doctor, that the doctor was negligent in some way, this negligence resulted in an injury, and the injury brought further damages (pain, expenses, etc).

But how do you know if this applies to you? Here is a list of questions you can ask yourself if you feel you might be a victim of medical malpractice.

How Effective Is Your Treatment? 

An ineffective treatment could mean your condition was misdiagnosed. People make mistakes, doctors included. However, a gross misdiagnosis can have wide-ranging negative effects on the patient. The undiagnosed issue continues to harm the patient when it is unaddressed. And using unnecessary treatments can have negative effects on the patient, as well.

A mistake doesn’t necessarily prove negligence, but an egregious mistake could be considered grounds for a medical malpractice suit.

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Does Testing Match the Diagnosis? 

Tests are the best way to diagnose an issue. And there are specific tests designed to diagnose specific illnesses and provide roadmaps for methods of treatment. A serious diagnosis is often the result of intensive testing.

However, patients occasionally receive a diagnosis of a severe issue even though the level of testing doesn’t match the significance of the illness. Failure to complete a wide range of sufficient tests can be a sign of negligence.

Was the Doctor Attentive? 

Your health is important. And it is the doctor’s job to provide you with information, answer your questions, and to take their time as they perform their examinations. A patient’s needs are not always addressed in this all-encompassing manner. And this can lead to issues.

A doctor who is hurried or rushed is much more likely to make mistakes. And these mistakes can be costly — both financially and physically — for the patient.

What Does the Second Opinion Say? 

A diagnosis of a serious issue should be confirmed with a second opinion. These issues will most likely necessitate intense treatments so it’s in the patient’s best interest to seek the advice of more than one doctor.

There could be issues if this second opinion — or even a third opinion — comes to a drastically different conclusion. This could be a sign that the doctor made an egregious error at some point in the process.

Were There Errors in the Procedure? 

This is the most direct means of justifying medical malpractice. A surgery or procedure is meant to result in the patient improving in health. However, errors in the procedure can leave the patient worse off than they were before.

Compensation is often deserved when the actions of a doctor result in further injury, illness, or even death. The patient shouldn’t be left suffering as a result from receiving medical care.

Was There Sufficient Help? 

Hurried medical professionals make mistakes. This can be exacerbated by an understaffed facility. Patients are meant to be provided with treatment supported by the necessary tools. This includes medical supplies as well as sufficient staff.

The inability to provide ample support is a failure on the part of the medical professional and can result in damages for the patients.

Did You Know All Involved Risks? 

Communication is a huge part of seeking medical treatment. It is the responsibility of the patient to tell their medical professional everything that applies to the issue. This helps the doctor to correctly diagnose the issue and put together a suitable treatment plan. However, it is the responsibility of the doctor to tell the patient everything that could happen as a result of the treatment.

It’s ultimately the patient’s choice to sign off on a treatment plan. But they can’t make a fully-informed decision if the doctor doesn’t tell them of all the possible risks involved.

Do you suspect you’ve been the victim of medical malpractice? Bart Durham Injury Law has years of experience fighting for the people of Tennessee and Kentucky.

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