Recognize possible signs of medical malpractice that may indicate medical negligence is to blame for your injuries. In order to hold a healthcare provider liable, you will need to prove that your care and/or treatment were negligent. Of course, if you suspect negligence to be the cause of your serious injuries, you may discuss it with a New York medical malpractice lawyer.
Recognizing Signs of Medical Malpractice
- Unplanned surgeries: While subsequent procedures may be required in many cases, such as if further complications are discovered during an initial procedure, some cases may be a sign of medical malpractice. For instance, this may be the case if an internal organ has been nicked or perforated during the procedure, or other procedures may become necessary if a surgical tool was left inside the body.
- Unusual side effects after a procedure: Infection is a risk in any surgical procedure, and pain associated with it may indicate an unavoidable infection. However, it also could indicate medical negligence led to a serious infection – such as leaving a surgical tool in the body.
- Lack of informed consent: For example, you never gave informed consent to a doctor before undergoing surgery. This is required (except in emergency situations) because it allows you the opportunity to learn about risks, alternative options and to play a role in your own medical treatment.
- Failure to question tests, despite common symptoms: Generally, it requires a combination of symptoms and tests to come up with the proper diagnosis. If you’re experiencing common symptoms of a disease or illness, but your initial test results come back negative, standards of reasonable care may expect doctors to question those test results or order further tests.
- Immediate attribution of symptoms to serious disease: Yes, stomach pains may be a sign of stomach cancer, but complaining of a stomachache shouldn’t immediately elicit a diagnosis of cancer. Before undergoing treatment, make sure a diagnosis is confirmed.
- Ineffective treatment: Of course, treatments may not work with almost any illness, but if it’s a normally treatable condition (such as bronchitis) and nothing seems to be working, it could be something much more serious. If the doctor misdiagnoses the condition, it could lead to unnecessary treatment or a delay in proper treatment.
- Serious side effects from medication: Medications generally come with a risk of side effects, but errors in prescription or dosage can indicate negligence. If your doctor prescribes a medication he or she knew you were allergic to or should have known you were allergic to, it may indicate medical negligence.
Proving Medical Malpractice
Even with these potential signs of medical malpractice, negligence isn’t necessarily present. There are four basic elements that are required when pursuing a case of medical negligence.
The first is that the healthcare provider owed a duty of care to you. This simply means a doctor/patient relationship existed.
The second element is that there was a breach in that duty of care. In other words, the healthcare provider deviated from what is a reasonable and acceptable standard of care expected of other professionals in similar situations.
The third element is that you sustained serious injuries. Mild illness or injuries may not be worth the time and cost involved in seeking compensation in a claim.
The final element is connecting your serious injuries to the breach of care. So if a doctor left a surgical sponge inside after surgery, you would need to show the injuries you suffered were directly a result of that negligence.
Discuss Signs of Medical Malpractice with a New York Malpractice Lawyer
Proving malpractice can be complicated. If you think you might have a case or if you’re not sure a doctor’s negligence is to blame for your injuries, a New York medical malpractice lawyer at Gacovino, Lake & Associates can help if you would like to learn about the viability of your claim and discuss what you suspect are signs of medical malpractice.