4 Signs That You May Have a Medical Malpractice Claim
Ragain & Clark August 31, 2023
If you have been in a car accident, it is usually obvious when you have suffered an injury and may need to pursue a legal claim. This is not the case with medical malpractice claims. One reason is that people who are seeking medical treatment may already be in poor health or injured. In addition, medical treatment comes with no guarantees that it will be successful. Finally, recognizing medical negligence is much more difficult for laypersons than it is when you have been in a car accident. As a result, victims of medical malpractice often dismiss their concerns or ignore the signs. Listen to your body. If something doesn’t seem right to you, reach out to a medical malpractice lawyer to discuss whether you may have to pursue a claim.
1. You Have Suffered Unexplained Side Effects or Complications
Except in emergency situations, your doctor must obtain your informed consent before proceeding with treatment. This means that they must give you sufficient information in order to make an informed decision, which includes discussing any potential risks or side effects. Failure to obtain a patient’s informed consent is medical malpractice.
While doctors do not have to disclose every potential risk or side effect of the treatment, there is no bright line that separates what must be disclosed and what does not need to be disclosed. Rather, this determination is made on a case-by-case basis. As a result, you should contact a medical malpractice lawyer if you have suffered any side effects that your doctor did not previously disclose. They will be able to determine whether they should have disclosed the risk and whether you have a medical malpractice claim.
2. You Have Suffered a Post-Treatment Infection
Infections following treatment are one of the most common causes of medical malpractice claims. This is typically for one of three reasons:
- Inadequate post-treatment care. In a hospital or similar setting, nurses and other staff may be responsible for changing dressings, draining incisions, and other tasks that aid in healing. Infections occur when they fail to give patients necessary and prompt care.
- Unsanitary conditions. Infections can also occur as a result of unsterile or unsanitary conditions. This can include failing to sterilize equipment and instruments as well as failing to take out the trash, clean the bathrooms, or change the sheets.
- Inadequate self-care instructions. Your healthcare team also has the responsibility of sending you home with sufficient instructions to care for yourself in your recovery. Following surgery, for example, they should explain how often to change your dressings and what you need to do to clean your wound. Failure to provide these instructions could constitute medical malpractice.
Infections can be very serious and lead to significant health problems. If you suffered an infection as a result of poor post-treatment care, a medical malpractice lawyer can help you get the compensation you deserve.
3. Your Treatment Was Completely Ineffective
As mentioned above, doctors cannot predict with absolute certainty whether the recommended treatment will cure your condition. They may be more certain in some cases than in others, but there is always the possibility that the treatment will not work.
That said, it may be a sign that something went wrong if you experienced no improvement following your treatment. It could indicate that you were misdiagnosed or that you received the wrong treatment. A medical malpractice lawyer can investigate your case and determine whether you have a medical malpractice claim.
4. Your Doctor Ignored Your Concerns and Comments
Believe it or not, many malpractice claims arise when doctors refuse to listen to their patients. They may dismiss particular symptoms or downplay how poorly they are feeling. In turn, they neglect to order additional tests or pursue a more aggressive course of treatment, only to later discover that the patient’s condition was much more serious than they originally thought. This can happen before the patient undergoes treatment, often meaning that they received a misdiagnosis. It can also happen after treatment, leading to infection or other unnecessary complications.
Talk to a Medical Malpractice Lawyer at Ragain & Clark Today
We have decades of experience helping medical malpractice victims in both Montana and Wyoming get the compensation they need to rebuild their lives. If you experienced any of the signs discussed above, get in touch with us to discuss whether you have a claim and your options for moving forward. Call us today at 307-388-6400 (Worland) or 406-651-8888 (Billings) to schedule a free consultation.