If you have suffered a serious complication from improper medical care or a loved one has died due to a doctor’s incompetence, you are probably thinking about filing a malpractice case. However, you’re probably wondering if this option will be available to you.
In some cases, a doctor could fail to diagnose or properly treat a condition while following protocol. In fact, this is a common scenario, and the doctor will not be considered negligent.
However, if the doctor broke protocol and caused harm, that’s a very different type of situation, and the doctor will be considered negligent. Here’s how you can know if a physician acted with negligence or not:
1. Did the doctor provide highly unorthodox treatment?
If you or your loved one received an untested treatment and suffered harm, there’s a good chance that this could be considered a negligent action. In order for a treatment to be approved, it needs to be studied to be determined whether or not it’s safe and effective. However, doctors can prescribe medications for off-label purposes, which complicates this issue. Here’s what you need to know about whether or not an unorthodox treatment would be considered an act of negligence:
– If the unusual treatment was a form of alternative medicine instead of traditional medicine, this is likely to be considered negligent.
– If the medication was an approved drug used for off-label purposes, prescribing it is not likely to be seen as negligent if other physicians would use the medication for a similar purpose.
– If the medication used for off-label purposes was highly unorthodox, unusual, and deemed dangerous by other doctors, it would be considered a negligent action.
2. Did the physician make an egregious error?
Occasionally, a physician will be attempting to follow protocol for the treatment of a medical condition but make a serious and potentially deadly error. For instance, there are cases of people who had a doctor perform surgery on the wrong area of their body or left surgical equipment behind inside their body.
These types of errors are considered to be quite egregious, and you are nearly guaranteed a successful lawsuit in such cases. Fortunately, these types of mistakes are quite rare.
3. Was the patient fully informed of the risks of a procedure?
A doctor should always make every effort to fully inform their patient about the risks of a procedure or medication. This will allow them to make an informed decision about whether they are interested in the treatment or not. If the doctor does not do this, they will typically be considered negligent.
For instance, if a patient is given an unusual and/or dangerous treatment without being told about the risks, this will be considered negligence. However, if they are fully informed of the risks and potential benefits, this is less likely to be the case. Of course, all information that the doctor provides must be medically accurate.
4. Did the doctor misrepresent themselves?
If a physician misrepresents themselves, this will typically be considered a form of malpractice. There are many types of situations that involve misrepresentation, such as a physician misrepresenting their specialty or showing false credentials.
We can help you win a malpractice case!
If you are suing a doctor in San Diego for malpractice, we can help you win. We’ve worked on cases where a patient sued a physician, clinic, hospital, or long-term care facility. So, give us a call today!