Since medicine isn’t actually an exact science, determining when malpractice has occurred can pose a challenge. Just because a patient suffers unanticipated complications, for example, doesn’t mean they were mistreated by their providers.
For malpractice to have occurred—and, consequently, for the patient to have grounds for legal action—the medical team must have breached their duty of care. Put another, they must have deviated from the most widely accepted protocols given the circumstance.
If you think you might have received substandard care but you’re not entirely sure whether it’s worth reaching out to an attorney, ask yourself the following:
1. Did My Condition Improve Once I Started Treatment?
While there are exceptions—some procedures are incredibly invasive, for example, and can make you feel worse before you feel better—it’s reasonable to assume that your symptoms will go away once you start treatment. If your condition has not improved—or if it has worsened—your providers may have committed malpractice.
2. Was I Informed of All the Risks Before Starting Treatment?
Physicians have an obligation to obtain informed consent from their patients before proceeding with any proposed treatment plans. Put another way, they must explain all the most common risks of a procedure in terms that the patient can understand before getting started. If you were never informed of the side effects that you suffered, it’s worth consulting an attorney.
3. Did My Diagnosis Actually Make Sense?
Does your diagnosis actually make sense when you consider the symptoms you have? Did you seek a second opinion and get a totally different diagnosis?
Diagnostic errors are one of the most common kinds of medical mistakes, and their consequences can be devastating. If your diagnosis was incorrect, you may be entitled to compensation for the losses you suffered as a result of delaying the treatment you needed.
4. Did I Suffer Unanticipated Complications?
Did you experience complications that the medical team never explained to you when obtaining your consent? Was your recovery supposed to be far easier—or shorter—than it actually was? If your experience didn’t line up with the norm, there’s a chance your medical team made an avoidable mistake.
5. Did I Receive Attentive Follow-Up Care?
The doctor/patient relationship doesn’t end once treatment has been administered. In most cases, providers have an obligation to follow up with their patients and confirm that they’re doing okay. If your medical team never scheduled any follow-up visits or called to check in on you, it could constitute negligence.
Speak with a South Carolina Medical Malpractice Attorney
Are you starting to suspect that you were the victim of medical malpractice? To see if you have grounds for a claim, turn to Hodge & Langley Law Firm.
Our compassionate team is backed by more than 50 years of collective experience in the legal field. To set up a free initial consultation with a medical malpractice lawyer in South Carolina, complete our Contact Form or call 864-585-3873.