By the time a doctor trades in the stethoscope for a pair of sandals and a one-way ticket to Clearwater, Florida, there’s at least a 75% chance that they’ve been sued for medical malpractice before. Yikes.
A medical malpractice lawsuit doesn’t inherently damn a doctor’s capabilities. In fact, 78% of claims end unsuccessfully, but if you or a loved one has experienced injury as a result of medical negligence, don’t be afraid to speak up.
We do trust these people with our lives, after all.
Keep reading for 5 vital things you should know about medical malpractice.
1. What is Medical Malpractice?
Medical treatment implies an agreement between patient and doctor: the doctor will treat symptoms and causes to the best of current medicine’s ability, and the patient will not intentionally jeopardize their own health (although that second one’s not technically part of the deal).
Medical malpractice occurs when a provider, (doctor, surgeon, optometrist, dentist, etc.) makes a bad call, misdiagnosis, or otherwise shockingly bad mistake that results in the patient’s injury or death.
Naturally, some patients die under a doctor’s care, but medical malpractice specifically occurs when a doctor’s harmful decision (or lack of action) is outside the rational norm of their peers.
2. How Do I Know if I’ve Experienced Medical Malpractice?
Patients file malpractice lawsuits when they experience injury due to negligent medical treatment. When care providers have a bad day at the office, an early morning brain fart means the wrong patient gets their gallbladder removed.
Most cases of medical negligence aren’t recognized until another practitioner reviews a patient’s treatment history. A doctor that knows what they’re doing spots an undiagnosed illness or incorrect treatment plan and informs the patient that they’ve experienced malpractice.
3. How is Medical Malpractice Handled by Law?
You’ll need enough proof of four elements to have a winnable case. Essentially, you need to prove your doctor’s professional duty to you and their breach of that duty which resulted in lasting damages.
This compensation takes into account economic loss, pain and suffering (both mental and physical) resulting from the medical negligence.
The statute of limitation, or time in which a claim must be filed to be considered, varies from state to state, so look into your local regulations if the medical treatment resulting in injury occurred some time ago.
4. How Can I Avoid Falling Victim to Medical Negligence?
Not all medical negligence leads to injury or death for the patient. However, you should always maintain active involvement in your medical health.
Ask questions. You have every right to request another provider if you feel you’re not getting clear answers or help.
Most doctors don’t get much medical malpractice information while in school. It’s usually one 30-minute seminar or a one-off lecture in class one day. It may be up to you to recognize when you’ve experienced medical negligence.
5. What Should I Do if I Experience Injury Due to Medical Negligence?
Even if you aren’t sure, it’s best to contact an attorney. They will discuss the claim with you and determine if your case should go to court, or would be best resolved in settlement.
Have you experienced hardship in the Oklahoma region due to medical malpractice? The experienced personal injury attorneys at Abel Law Firm can help you receive the justice you deserve. They even offer free confidential evaluations.
For more information, Click Here.