Do I Have a Medical Malpractice Case?
Medical malpractice is a legal cause of action that happens when a medical or other health care professional deviates from the standards of care in their profession through a negligent act or omission, thereby causing injury to a patient. Negligent omissions include failure to disclose test results or to provide proper aftercare. Negligent acts include diagnostic errors and prescription drug errors.
What is not medical malpractice?
There are many scenarios that can lead to an unhappy patient that do not necessarily fall under the category of medical malpractice because the medical professional did not act negligently. Some examples include:
- Adverse or bad surgical or treatment outcome
- Untreatable patient condition
- Worsening patient condition
- Rude or hurried treatment
Do I have a medical malpractice case?
The only way to determine if you have a medical malpractice case is to schedule a free consultation with an experienced medical malpractice attorney in your state to discuss your injuries. If one of the following scenarios fits your experience, you may have a malpractice case:
- Failure to obtain informed consent
Most medical treatments and procedures come with at least some small risk for complications or side effects; as a result, medical professionals have a duty to obtain informed consent before providing treatment. In practical terms, this means that a doctor should explain the risks and benefits of all viable treatment options so you, as the patient, can agree to the treatment with your eyes wide open.
If a doctor performed a procedure on you that you did not agree to or that you could not have agreed to because the doctor failed to adequately explain the risks and benefits of the treatment, then you received treatment without providing informed consent. It may rise to the level of medical malpractice if you would have chosen to go with an alternative treatment or declined the treatment had you known the risks and you suffered harm as a result of the treatment. In malpractice cases involving informed consent, the personal injury lawyer need not prove that the procedure deviated from the standard of care; only that informed consent was not obtained and that the patient was harmed.
- Your healthcare provider informs you that a mistake was made
While some hospitals don’t readily admit it when they or their employees have made a mistake, there are times when healthcare providers inform their patients that a mistake was made.
Whether you were informed of a mistake or not, contact a medical malpractice attorney to discuss your legal rights if you were harmed as a result of improper medical treatment. You are much more likely to receive a fair settlement when you have legal representation.
- Extraordinary consequences
As we talked about in point #1, doctors must explain the risks and benefits of treatment that could conceivably happen. They are not, however, obligated to tell their patients about highly unusual risks. If you suffered a highly unusual outcome after medical treatment or procedure, that could be a sign that you did not receive appropriate medical care. For example, if you developed a staph infection in your suture despite following all aftercare instructions that you were provided, it could be a sign that you did not receive proper aftercare.
- Your condition progressed because of failure to order diagnostic tests
If you sought diagnosis and treatment for symptoms you were experiencing and your doctor failed to order appropriate diagnostic tests to determine a diagnosis and your condition worsened as a result of delayed treatment, you may have been a victim of medical malpractice.
Seek the help of a medical malpractice attorney
If you were injured because of medical negligence or lost a loved one due to a preventable medical error, you have enough to deal with. Let an experienced medical malpractice attorney fight for justice on your behalf. It is not uncommon to receive a settlement from the insurance company that is five to ten times larger with the help of a medical negligence lawyer. Call the most experienced practicing medical malpractice attorneys Bellingham has at Tario & Associates, P.S. today for a FREE consultation! We have been representing people injured by medical negligence in Whatcom County, Skagit County, Island County and Snohomish County since 1979. You will pay nothing up front and no attorney fees at all unless we recover damages for you!