When you have an illness, condition or injury, you will probably see a doctor for treatment. If it’s life threatening or otherwise serious, you may go to the hospital. The object, of course, is to get better. But what if you don’t?
How can you tell if your worsening condition is merely unfortunate, or the result of negligent care? It’s not always easy to tell, which is why most experienced medical malpractice attorneys rely on medical experts to help determine whether your physician breached his or her duty of care.
Possibly Medical Malpractice
What is this “duty of care,” exactly? Doctors, nurses and other medical professionals have a duty to their patients to provide the level of care that any competent, similarly trained practitioner would give in the same situation. When a medical caregiver fails to do so, the patient may have a strong medical malpractice case.
For example, if a patient awakes from surgery and finds he or she is unexpectedly paralyzed, most competent surgeons would order immediate X-ray or other diagnostic procedures to determine the problem. In a recent case of ours, this happened and the surgeon waited several days to order X-rays—a clear breach of the doctor’s duty of care to our client.
Probably Not Malpractice
Some illnesses are untreatable. If a doctor correctly diagnoses you and current medical technology simply has no effective cure or treatment, that’s unfortunate, but unavoidable. The key to a malpractice case is whether the physician has provided adequate care.
Similarly, if a patient’s condition worsens while under appropriate care, there’s not likely to be a strong case for medical malpractice.
If you feel you may have been harmed by negligent medical care, you should consult an attorney. An experienced medical malpractice lawyer can help you determine whether negligent medical care caused your injury or condition.