Warning Signs of Medical Malpractice
Most of us rely on and trust our doctors and other medical professionals to provide the care we need when we are sick or injured. While it may be unrealistic to expect our physicians to be able to cure or offer immediate relief for every ailment, these providers are under an obligation to provide a certain standard of care, while avoiding the potential for medical mistakes and errors. When recovery does not happen or a condition is undiagnosed, how can you tell the difference between a doctor who has done their best and a situation that constitutes medical malpractice? The following are warning signs to be aware of that could indicate medical negligence, as well as the common standards courts consider in cases involving medical malpractice lawsuits.
Medical Malpractice Warning Signs
A May 2016 report in the British Medical Journal (BMJ), the leading source for information and statistics for the medical community, indicates that medical errors and mistakes are now the third leading cause of death in the United States. The report states that as many as 250,000 people die each year as the result of complications related to medical and surgical errors, medical misdiagnosis, medication errors, as well as from hospital based infections. In addition to the number of patient deaths, the health advocacy group Healthline warns that the number of serious and disabling injuries due to medical malpractice has also increased, often leaving patients dealing with permanent impairments. To protect yourself and your loved one, Healthline advises being aware of these common medical malpractice warning signs:
- Conditions that do not improve despite treatment
- Failure to run common diagnostic testing
- Poor communication regarding your condition
- Sudden referrals to other doctors or specialists
- Lack of willingness to schedule and provide follow up care
How To Determine If You Are Eligible For A Medical Malpractice Lawsuit
Doctors are not miracle workers, and there are cases in which patients fail to improve or a condition goes undetected despite the quality of care received. At the same time, medical professionals are highly trained and expected to provide a minimum standard of service to prevent errors and mistakes from occurring. According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH) there are four factors to consider in determining whether a particular situation rises to the level of medical negligence. Referred to as the ‘4 D’s of Medical Malpractice’, they provide the fundamental basis for determining when to file a medical malpractice lawsuit.
- The duty a medical professional owes patients in providing quality medical care
- Dereliction, or the degree of negligence shown in failing to meet this duty
- The damages suffered by the patient as the result of the negligence
- The direct cause of any injuries or ailments the patient suffered
Let Us Assist You Today
If you or a loved one has suffered injuries or losses as the result of a medical mistake or error, contact our South Carolina medical malpractice attorneys today. We can advise you on whether you are entitled to file a medical malpractice claim, and assist you in getting the compensation you deserve for the damages you have suffered.