How to tell if you are a victim of medical negligence

How to Tell if You Are a Victim of Medical Negligence

Medical malpractice cases are one of the most complex and hard-fought battles in the legal industry today. Although everyone hopes to receive the proper medical care when they need it, this is sadly not always the case. Sometimes, a mistake is made on the healthcare professional’s part, and can lead to serious injury, illness, or even death. If so, you could have a medical malpractice lawsuit on your hands.

Many different factors come into play during a medical malpractice case, and you should make sure that your medical malpractice lawyer has experience with these types of cases. There are usually some common elements that can help you determine whether or not you are a victim of medical negligence. You need to prove these elements in order to win a medical malpractice case. Having a negative outcome from a medical procedure or a healthcare professional making a mistake does not automatically mean that you have experienced medical negligence.

What are the elements of medical negligence?

In order to prove that someone was the victim of medical negligence, you must prove the following:

  • There was a doctor-patient relationship or a healthcare provider and patient relationship between you and the individual or facility that caused you harm;
  • That the doctor, hospital, or other healthcare provider had a duty of care toward you;
  • That the provider breached that duty of care; and
  • That the breach caused or directly contributed to your harm.

Why does there need to be a doctor and patient relationship?

There needs to be a doctor and patient relationship because this is what imposes the duty of care on the doctor, hospital, or other healthcare provider. If you are a patient and you tell your doctor about your symptoms, then your doctor has a duty of care to take certain actions to either diagnose or rule out other medical conditions.

What is a medical duty of care?

The medical duty of care will depend on your specific situation, and it can differ since not one definition can apply to all cases.

The medical duty of care is a measure of a healthcare provider’s actions to see if they have met legal expectations. When the actions of doctors and hospitals are evaluated, we look at how any other reasonable and professional healthcare provider would have acted in a similar situation. The medical expert must have similar education and training as the doctor being questioned, and must practice in the same medical community. A testimony from this expert will help you establish the standard of care during your case.

What is a breach of medical duty of care?

After the standard of care has been established, your healthcare provider’s actions can be measured. If your healthcare provider’s behaviour met the standard of care, then they did not breach their duty to you. So, if a reasonably prudent doctor in the same situation would not have acted differently, your medical provider’s actions would not constitute a breach of the duty of care. On the other hand, if they did breach the duty of care, then this would be considered medical negligence.

The doctor’s negligence must have caused or directly contributed to the harm or injury you suffered. No matter what your healthcare provider’s actions were, if negligence is what caused your damages, you will not have a claim for medical malpractice.

What counts towards a medical malpractice case?

The following are some of the most common signs of medical malpractice:

Not ordering the standard tests. A lack of standard tests, such as x-rays, EKGs, ultrasounds, and other procedures, mean there might not have been adequate care or treatment given, especially in the case of suspected illnesses, infections, or fractures.

Getting a delayed diagnosis. Doctors who take too long to reach a diagnosis can cause grave consequences. If someone with a particular illness is diagnosed too late, or not diagnosed at all, it is a sign of medical malpractice. If the condition is something that, if detected and treated early, can be cured or reversed, this is also considered a medical malpractice.

Not getting additional tests. In most cases, follow-up tests might be needed to check if an individual requires further diagnosis to ensure what their condition is.

Condition worsens or stays the same. If an individual’s condition worsens or stays the same even after receiving treatment, it might indicate medical malpractice. In some cases, the individual might have had surgery and an object was left inside of the body, or they might have had the wrong procedure performed.

Failing to follow up. A doctor must examine conditions that require follow-up care. If a medical professional fails to follow up, this is considered malpractice.

The medical facility is understaffed. If a medical facility is understaffed, medical negligence can occur. If a person does not get the proper medical attention or medication that they need, it will be considered medical malpractice.

Not considering patient input. If a doctor or other medical professional does not listen to the patient and the patient ends up with a misdiagnosis, this is grounds for a malpractice suit.

Different opinions from different doctors. Getting more than one opinion from different medical providers can result in medical misdiagnosis as well. It could take another doctor to receive a proper diagnosis.

If you or a loved one think that you have been a victim of medical malpractice, you should contact an experienced medical malpractice lawyer as soon as possible. Our medical malpractice lawyers at Sommers Roth and Elmaleh can help you with the details of your case and help you pursue legal action on your behalf.

Contact Sommers Roth and Elmaleh today if you’re looking for a reliable and professional medical malpractice lawyer. Call us at 416-961-1212 or toll free at 1-844-777-7372, or contact us here.

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