When you go to a doctor, surgeon, chiropractor, or physical therapist, you’re expecting treatment from a knowledgeable and skilled practitioner, who will help you to feel better. After all, they’ve gone through the necessary training, have their certification, and are ultimately there to help you feel better, right? But what happens when you get worse from their care? In some cases, it’s merely a matter of the treatment not working and something else needs to be done.
However, sometimes you don’t get better due to a result of negligence on behalf of the practitioner. Not only are you subjected to additional pain and suffering due to the negligence, but you could also be subjected to lost wages due to having to miss extra work. When a licensed medical professional is negligent, it’s referred to as medical malpractice, and it can occur in a number of different ways.
It is a doctor’s legal responsibility to perform a diagnosis to the best of his or her ability and carry out a treatment regimen from there. Gross misdiagnosis can result in you being treated for a condition you don’t have or the treatment can cause additional harm to your current condition. In these cases, the primary practitioner could be held liable for malpractice. Additionally, if the doctor does not have the necessary medical equipment to carry out a full diagnosis, such as an MRI or X-Ray machine, it is their legal responsibility to refer you to a facility that does.
Deviation from Standard Care
When it comes to medical treatment, there is a standard of “best practices”. Based on your symptoms, there is a standard metric for treatment that should be employed. If you have symptom ‘x’ then treatment ‘y’ is prescribed. Sometimes in an instance of medical malpractice, a doctor might deviate from the standard treatment and try something else. If you’re injured because of this deviation, then you might have a case for medical malpractice.
What Should I do if I’m a Victim of Medical Malpractice
Medical malpractice cases are more common than you might expect. Whether it be due to negligence or a matter of mistake, people are hurt every year because of it. However, the number of successful medical suits are a mere pittance versus the number of people who are hurt each year because of it. The problem is that the process for a successful medical malpractice case is an incredibly long and drawn out process and even the simplest mistake can result in a failure for the victim. Because of that, if you suspect that you’ve been injured due to the direct course of care from a licensed medical professional, it is imperative that you seek legal counsel immediately.
With the help of an experienced personal injury attorney, you can make the difference between a failure and a success. Often times, malpractice insurance companies will attempt to settle out of court for a quick resolution, or they’ll try to find some other way to bully you out of fair compensation for your pain and suffering. Protect your rights and your future, and hire a personal injury attorney today.
Michael Schreyer is a personal injury attorney in Maryland and is a partner in the firm of Alpert Schreyer, LLC. He is an experienced personal injury attorney, serving the Maryland and Washington, DC area and providing information and advice on his law blog at dcmdlaw.com.