When it comes to taking care of medical problems, we place a lot of trust in professionals. After all, what they do is difficult and specialized. However, there are times when medical professionals don’t do what they should, or take all the precautions that they should. When medical professionals don’t do all they can to ensure that you receive the best possible care, you might be injured. In some cases, the results can be permanent damage. In fact, the American Association for Justice estimates that 98,000 people die each year as a result of preventable medical errors.
If you are injured as the result of a medical malpractice situation, you have rights. You need to receive adequate compensation for your injuries, as well as for some of the other consequences of the malpractice.
But how you can you tell if you are a victim of medical malpractice? Medical malpractice is defined by state law, so you will need to check the specifics according to your state. You will also need to understand that the measure of malpractice is related to what is known as the “standard of care” that medical professionals are required to provide.
A good personal injury lawyer or malpractice attorney can help you determine whether or not you have been a victim of medical malpractice, as well as help you decide how much you should pursue in terms of compensation. As you consult with a personal injury attorney, consider the following signs that you might be the victim of medical malpractice:
Your condition isn’t improving: If your treatment seems ineffective, that could be a sign that you have been misdiagnosed, or that the treatment provided isn’t the right decision. If you don’t seem to be getting better after surgery, that can be a sign that something went wrong during the procedure.
No tests beyond the lab test: Tests are subject to human error. Not only can samples be switched or contaminated, but the interpretation of results can be faulty. If your entire diagnosis is based on a single lab test, and if your treatment regimen is based on that test, you could be looking at a problem. More tests might be necessary.
A common test wasn’t performed: Were you diagnosed without the help of a commonly used test? If there is a “standard” procedure or test associated with a diagnosis, you should have received it.
Your questions are ignored: You have the right to know what’s going on with your situation. If your questions are ignored, or medical professionals are reluctant to provide you with information, you might be facing a situation in which they know something went wrong, but are unwilling to tell you.
Your diagnosis seems delayed: In some cases, a professional might have missed obvious signs, and delayed your diagnosis to the point where it is too late to effectively treat your condition.
Health care providers fail to follow up: Your health care provider(s) should follow up with you. If you are left to fend for yourself — especially if you are unsure of how to properly care for your condition — that is usually a bad sign.
While there are times that things just don’t work out, the reality is that medical professionals are expected to provide a certain level of care. If they deviate from that standard, it is far more likely that you will be injured, and you need to be on the alert. Pay attention to your body, and consult a lawyer if you become concerned that your health has been impacted by the negligence or malpractice of a health care provider.