When you go to the doctor for a health issue, you expect him or her to make you better, not worse. Unfortunately, it is not uncommon for the opposite of what one expects to happen. In fact, according to a Forbes report, medical malpractice, which refers to the harming of a patient by a doctor, is the third leading cause of death in the United States. Moreover, it accounts for over $3 billion in legal payouts, which amounts to one payout every 43 minutes. If you’re alarmed by those numbers, you have every right to be.
If you’re reading this right now, it’s because you believe that you yourself are the victim of medical malpractice. You may very well be. While you should always get the opinion of one or more medical malpractice lawyers Las Vegas to determine whether you are or are not the victim of injustice, it doesn’t hurt to know the signs of malpractice. Below are a few of the most common ones.
Your Doctor Didn’t Diagnose Your Illness
Failure to diagnose is, unfortunately, one of the most common and fatal types of malpractice a healthcare provider can commit. Failure to diagnose typically leads to an exacerbated medical condition and an increased risk of a negative outcome. If the provider had followed proper protocol – meaning he or she performed the appropriate tests and diagnostic procedures – and those measures would have lead to a better outcome, you may have a malpractice case on your hands.
Your Provider Failed To Warn You of Known Risks
Patients have the right to make an informed decision regarding their healthcare, which means providers have a duty to inform them of all possible risks associated with a procedure or course of treatment. This is known as the duty of informed consent. If you, having been warned of all possible risks, elected to not follow through with a course of treatment or procedure, and if the treatment or procedure resulted in harm of which you were completely unaware, you may be able to sue the doctor for medical malpractice.
Your Provider Provided the Wrong Treatment
Known as “never events,” events in which providers provide patients with the wrong treatment are the worst forms of medical malpractice. They are called never events because they are events that never should have happened. Though many never events involve performing the wrong procedure on the wrong patient, this category of malpractice also includes the following acts of negligence:
- Leaving a tool in the patient post-surgery
- Performing surgery on the right patient at the wrong site
- Discharging or releasing a patient who is unable to make decisions for him or herself to an unauthorized person
- Death or serious injury of a patient due to the provider’s failure to follow up
- Wrongful artificial insemination with the wrong donor sperm or egg
When To Contact a Lawyer
If you ever suspect you’re the victim of medical malpractice, contact an attorney right away. Medical malpractice is extremely difficult to prove and requires resources most citizens do not have at their disposal. Though malpractice can take many forms, be wary of the above, as they are the most common and most fatal.