Medical malpractice can occur when a medical professional provides substandard care to a patient. This can lead to severe injuries and even death in some cases. For those who believe that they or a loved one may have been the victim of medical malpractice, it is important to know what signs to look for.
Some of the most common signs of medical malpractice include:
Sudden and unexplained changes in your health after medical treatment;
Problems with your medical care that were not explained to you in advance;
Injuries that occurred during medical treatment;
A medical professional failing to obtain your informed consent before performing a procedure; and,
A medical error that resulted in serious harm or death.
Below, we explore these topics further and share what each of these common signs can look like.
Unexplained Changes In Your Medical Treatment
It’s common to have some physical and emotional changes before or after a medical procedure. But, if the changes last several weeks or months after your procedure, it could signify a more severe complication.
Potential warning signs individuals should look out for include:
Unexplained weight loss or gain;
Sudden onset of chronic pain;
Changes in your mental health or cognitive abilities;
Loss of mobility or function; and;
New or worsening symptoms.
While it’s critical to get the proper care as soon as possible, individuals should also consider whether their doctor is potentially making their situation worse rather than better.
No Prior Knowledge of Potential Medical Care Concerns
Doctors may assume that their patient is aware of potential medical care issues that could arise or not perform their due diligence in informing patients about possible side effects of their medical care. Either way, neither should happen and can be considered medical malpractice.
These problems can also look like the patient not:
Being told about all of their treatment options;
Being told about the risks and side effects of a medication or procedure;
Giving informed consent to a treatment or procedure; or,
Receiving adequate instructions for post-treatment care.
Injuries During Medical Treatment
Receiving medical treatment can be necessary to fix a complication. However, treatments themselves can lead to additional undue hardships.
Some injuries that can arise while receiving medical treatment include:
Unnecessary surgery; and,
Wrong site surgery (this is why most surgeons will use a permanent marker to indicate where the surgery is to take place before the procedure begins).
Misdiagnosis of a Condition
Usually, when a doctor shares a diagnosis, it typically brings a feeling of relief to the patient as they know there may be a resolution to their complication. Unfortunately, misdiagnosing the actual issue happens often. The wrong diagnosis can lead to the patient receiving incorrect or unnecessary treatment.
While it may be assumed that a doctor should know what a diagnosis is the first time for all their patients, this is not the case. A doctor can misdiagnosis a condition because of:
A failure to order the appropriate tests;
An incorrect interpretation of test results; and,
A failure to recognize the symptoms of a condition.
Failing to Receive Informed Consent
Before any medical treatment, a doctor must tell a patient all potential complications, side effects, and impacts that treatment could bring. That includes:
Giving information about the risks and benefits of a treatment or procedure;
Giving information about alternative treatments or procedures; and,
Giving the patient enough time to decide whether to proceed with a treatment or procedure.
If a medical professional fails to provide the above-listed information to a patient and a complication later arises, that patient may have enough grounds for a legal claim.
This is the most common type of medical malpractice individuals think of regarding taking legal action against a medical professional. Most medical errors that result in serious harm or death include:
Birth injuries; and,
How Hovde Dassow + Deets Can Help
If you have any concerns about the medical care you or a loved one has received, it is critical to speak with a medical malpractice attorney as soon as possible. Our experienced medical malpractice lawyers at Hovde Dassow + Deets can help you understand your rights and options. Speaking with an attorney does not obligate you to take legal action, but it can give you the information you need to make an informed decision about whether to proceed.
Schedule a consultation with our award-winning team today online or by phone. (317) 576-3241