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Medical Malpractice 101: What to Look Out For

When a loved one is in the hospital or on life support, often the last thing on your mind is to distrust the physicians and caretakers that are responsible for their care. Even worse, when it’s your own illness that you’re dealing with, you want to trust those who are charged with healing you. However, even in a noble pursuit like medicine, there are bad apples in the bunch whose negligence and irresponsibility can cause devastating injuries or even death to their patients.

If you’re not a medical expert, it can be difficult to discern whether you or a loved one’s injuries or pain are due to negligence--and that shouldn’t be your job. But if you suspect that the doctors and nurses who you trust to heal you or your relatives have in fact done an injustice against your family, you should know the legal ramifications of medical malpractice. There’s no reason to feel like you’re alone when there are many attorneys out there who want to help you and your family to return to normalcy.

Medical malpractice can be hard to recognize, but pain and suffering for months after a surgical procedure is not normal. Get in contact with a lawyer if you suspect any harm has been done due to the irresponsibility of a medical provider.

Signs of Medical Malpractice

In order to prove medical malpractice, there are a few things that need to be demonstrated in a court of law. The attorney must prove, beyond a reasonable doubt, that the provider had a duty to care for the patient, that they were negligent of that duty under certain standards of care, and that this negligence caused harm to the patient, such as lasting injuries or even death.

From a layperson’s standpoint, it can be hard to tell if malpractice has been committed. Here a few signs to look out for.

  • Treatment Doesn’t Work or Help Symptoms

If you’ve been diagnosed with an illness and put on a treatment plan, you would obviously expect that you would begin to feel better and your symptoms would be reduced. One common issue, however, is often misdiagnosis, which can have extraordinary consequences if you decide to go under the knife to have surgical treatment. When treatment doesn’t work, you may be a victim of medical malpractice.

  • No Informed Consent

Sometimes, when doctors perform surgery to correct an issue, they may see something else that needs to be addressed. Some doctors will take the initiative and correct the problem, but this is an issue because any procedure requires informed consent. If consent is not given to perform the procedure, then the surgeon is not allowed. In cases where harm is caused due to lack of informed consent, medical malpractice may have been committed. 

  • Surgical Injuries

It’s common to not feel like yourself after surgery, but when healing is delayed to the point that it causes real issues in your life, a surgical injury may be the cause. If these go untreated, they could have damaging consequences and cause even worse injuries than the surgery was meant to correct. Dealing with pain and suffering for years after surgery isn’t normal--this is another sign of medical malpractice.

What to Do If You Suspect Malpractice

If you suspect that a doctor or medical provider has been negligent in their care for you or a loved one, do not hesitate a moment. There may be something seriously wrong that can be corrected if it is brought to another provider’s attention, but even if it is not an emergency, those who have wronged your or your family deserve to be brought to justice. 

Although it may not always be easy to prove a medical malpractice claim, a seasoned attorney will work their hardest to ensure that you and your loved ones are taken care of during this hard time.