Sometimes it’s difficult to tell if you’re the victim of medical negligence or your health problem caused further complications. Did your doctor make a mistake, or was it just one of the things that happen during sickness?
Doctors and healthcare providers must offer a certain standard of care when treating patients. They offer negligent treatment when they fail to offer this level of care and cause their patients to experience complications or injuries.
You expect the medical professional you see to deliver the best possible care, but you feel disappointed and hurt when this doesn’t happen. If you think you’re the victim of medical negligence, this article could help you have a better understanding of what steps you must follow next.
But first, let’s define what medical negligence is. Medical malpractice occurs when a healthcare provider fails to offer an acceptable standard of care and causes injuries or harms you. Their actions can generate a new illness or injury because of substandard care or make your medical condition or an existing injury worse. Common examples of medical malpractice include surgical errors, being mistreated in a care home, injuries during birth, surgery complications, and many other similar cases.
How to tell if you are a victim of medical negligence
Medical negligence cases are complex and hard-fought battles nowadays. Even if everyone who was a victim of medical malpractice should receive proper compensation, this is sadly not always the case. Several factors come into play, and it’s essential to ensure that your solicitor has experience with these kinds of cases. A set of common elements can help you determine if your doctor was negligent, and you need to prove these elements to win a medical malpractice case. Only because the healthcare provider made a mistake, doesn’t mean that you were automatically the victim of medical negligence.
What are the elements of medical negligence?
You must prove the following to demonstrate your doctor was negligent.
– You had a healthcare provider/doctor and patient relationship with the facility or individual that caused your injuries or did harm
– The healthcare provider or institution has a duty of care toward you
– The healthcare provider or institution breached the duty of care
– The negligence or breach directly caused you more harm
Common signs of medical negligence
The healthcare practitioner failed to order the standard tests. When the doctor doesn’t order standard tests like ultrasounds, X-Rays or EKGs, they may not offer adequate care, especially if you suffer from complex infections, illnesses, or fractures.
You received a delayed diagnosis. If your medical specialist took too long to diagnose your condition, you might experience grave consequences. When your particular illness is diagnosed too late or not diagnosed at all, you may be the victim of medical negligence. Supposing your condition is something that can be reversed or cured if diagnosed and treated in the first stages, you are the subject of medical malpractice.
The doctor didn’t order additional tests. In some instances, the doctor must order follow-up tests to check if you need further diagnosis to ensure your symptoms correspond to the condition they suspect you have.
Your health status stays the same or worsens. If your health issue stays the same or worsens after treating it, the doctor could have been negligent. Maybe you had surgery, and the surgeon left an object inside your body or performed a wrong procedure.
The doctor failed to follow up on your health status. A medical professional should examine your condition to determine if you need follow-up care. It’s considered malpractice when they don’t do it.
The healthcare facility is understaffed. When the medical facility is understaffed, you can easily become the victim of negligence. It’s considered medical malpractice when you don’t get the proper treatment and medical care.
What to do if you’re a victim of medical malpractice
If you or one of your loved ones find yourselves in one of the above situations, you probably have a scary and stressful time. Whether you want to file a lawsuit or not, here is what steps you must follow to protect yourself or your loved one.
Document your case. Because it’s nerve-wracking to deal with this kind of situation, you might forget important details. Document everything, from doctor consultation dates, times, name of healthcare providers and practitioners, treatment, dosages, etc. Take descriptive notes and document everything as it’s happening, if you can. Even if you won’t file a lawsuit, documenting everything can help you relieve stress.
Ask questions. Don’t be afraid to ask your doctors and nurses questions as they diagnose and treat you. What led to this? What should I expect? How can we treat this condition? Be direct and persistent with your caretakers because you have the right to know what’s going on with your body and health.
Request copies of your medical records. You are entitled to ask for copies of your medical records, including tests. You don’t have to explain to your healthcare provider why you need them. However, don’t inform them you want to use them to file a lawsuit or contact a solicitor. After you get them, ask a specialist to review them to ensure they’re complete.
Call a solicitor specialising in medical malpractice. A legal advisor can help you understand if you have a case because they can determine if you have proof of negligence. You can make a claim against NHS practices but also private healthcare providers. A common misconception about medical malpractice is that you can make a claim only against your healthcare provider. This is far from true. All medical practitioners can be held accountable for the care they provide to their patients. You can make a claim against a cosmetic surgeon, dentist, private doctor, care home, or a medical specialist who didn’t offer adequate care.
It’s easy to calculate and make a claim if you work with a legal advisor. Once they accept your claim, they assign a specialist solicitor to your case to ensure you get fair legal representation.