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Identifying Medical Malpractice

Did you know that one of the leading issues of medical malpractice is misdiagnosis? Most people will experience some type of misdiagnosis or delayed diagnosis in their lives, however, not all incidents lead to dangerous or fatal consequences. Just because a doctor misjudged symptoms doesn't mean they are necessarily guilty of medical malpractice.

So what is defined as medical malpractice? In the case of misdiagnosis, medical malpractice may occur when a doctor fails to diagnosis obvious and clear symptoms that any other doctor with their similar training would reasonably be able to identify.

But medical malpractice can take many different forms including:

  • Delayed treatment
  • Negligent care or treatment
  • Failure to perform a procedure properly
  • Performing unnecessary care
  • Prescribing inaccurate or dangerous amounts of medication

From a failure to diagnose lung cancer to causing a patient additional damage in a surgical procedure, medical malpractice is extremely diverse, making these cases very complex.

How Do I Know if My Doctor Acted Unreasonably?

One of the most challenging aspects of medical malpractice cases is that many patients don't realize right away that their additional injuries or medical complications are due to their doctor's or a medical provider's negligence. In many cases, a nurse or staff member may fail to pass on crucial information to a supervising doctor, ignoring the patient's own concerns. At the end of the day, when the patient goes home suffering additional injuries, develops a more serious disease, or dies as the result of the medical care they received, some type of malpractice has likely occurred.

Doctors owe a duty of care to patients, which means they owe the degree of skill and care as to be expected by a similar physician within reason. The equipment and facilities available to them may also play a part in the extent of care expected of them. If another doctor of the same qualifications wouldn't deem the practices they performed or the medical advice they provided you customary or acceptable, medical malpractice may have occurred--especially if you suffered injuries as a result.

Medical Expert Testimony & a Second Opinion

Expert testimony often serves as the most important element of a medical malpractice case. Why? Because a medical expert can best establish what an acceptable and customary level of care would be. Without establishing this, it can be difficult to prove that a violation of that level of care occurred.

This also speaks to one of the major ways patients often realize they have been victims of medical malpractice. Seeking a second opinion from another doctor may shed light on whether or not you were given proper medical treatment. If a second or third doctor strongly disagrees with the treatment methods or feels that they were negligent in their care, it should raise serious concerns. You should always seek a second opinion if you have doubts about treatment your doctor provided.

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The Law Office of Scott Righthand, P.C.

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San Francisco, CA 94111

Phone: 415-544-0115
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