Despite their training and experience, doctors, dentists, and other medical professionals are human and make mistakes. That is an unfortunate reality, but it does not excuse them from their obligation to make amends after an error that has impacted someone’s life.
If you have been affected by medical malpractice and don’t have medical training, it can feel like all the cards are stacked against you. When a doctor says what you perceive as a mistake is a normal outcome, you may feel compelled to accept their explanation and move on. However, that isn’t fair to you and your loved ones.
You deserve to be fairly compensated so your doctor’s mistake doesn’t become your ongoing financial and physical burden. That’s why you should contact a malpractice attorney if you feel your doctor or care team didn’t do their job correctly. Your medical malpractice lawyer can serve as your knowledgeable advisor and vocal advocate who will help you get the compensation you deserve.
What Are Medical Malpractice and Negligence?
The term “negligence” refers to acting without due care. In a healthcare setting, acting negligently can lead to what’s called “medical malpractice,” or sometimes, “hospital malpractice.” If committed by a dentist or their team, it is referred to as “dental malpractice.”
Medical malpractice occurs when a healthcare professional fails to follow accepted practices and standards in providing treatment or care, and a patient is injured as a result. Malpractice can take many forms with outcomes that can impact your physical and financial wellbeing. Some of the most common types involve:
- Birth injuries. These are injuries caused by a doctor’s mistake that affect an unborn or newborn baby. Birth injuries can have lifelong effects and cost a family millions of dollars for ongoing care and other expenses.
- Misdiagnosis or failure to diagnose. These mistakes can result in patients not getting the treatment they need or getting the wrong treatment.
- Surgical errors. Although you sign a “consent form” before having surgery, it only says you understand there are normal risks associated with the procedure. The form does not excuse errors committed by a surgeon or their team.
- Medication errors. You can be seriously harmed if a pharmacy or care provider gives you the wrong medication or provides incorrect dosage instructions.
- Failure to treat. It can be particularly disheartening when your doctor makes the correct diagnosis but fails to prescribe the correct treatment. They may also be at fault if they don’t assess the results of a treatment or refer a patient to a specialist as appropriate.
- Avoidable infections. Medical care settings must meet high hygienic standards. If your provider fails in this area and you subsequently develop an infection, you may be entitled to compensation.
- Delayed diagnosis. A doctor may be liable if they reach the correct diagnosis but not in a timely manner, and the patient suffers needlessly or gets sicker.
- Product liability. A court may consider it medical malpractice if a defective product (a drug, piece of equipment, etc.) harms a patient.
- Anesthesia mistakes. Administering too much or too little anesthesia medication can cause serious medical problems or unnecessary pain for patients.
If you or a loved one experiences any of these issues, it is crucial that you contact a medical malpractice attorney or negligence attorney promptly.
Why You Need a Medical Malpractice Lawyer
Any lawyer can look at a scenario where a patient is harmed by a doctor’s negligence and understand that this is medical malpractice. Not every lawyer has the skills and experience to achieve a positive outcome in a medical malpractice case.
You only get one chance to pursue your case, so you must work with a malpractice lawyer who understands the nuances of medical negligence.
Our medical malpractice attorneys at Ginnis & Krathen have extensive experience in medical malpractice law. Contacting us promptly can protect you from common mistakes, like accepting a lowball offer from an insurance company. Then, we can help you secure a full and fair settlement.
Defensive Medicine and Defending Yourself
In some cases, doctors prescribe excessive tests or treatments in what is known as defensive medicine. They may do this as a way to protect themselves from legal liability.
But this deviation from sound medical practice can hurt patients financially. The provider may resolve your medical issue successfully, but you pay far more than you should have for their services.
You can protect yourself from the effects of defensive medicine by asking your doctor questions about the tests and treatments they prescribe. For example, “Is this standard for people who have symptoms like mine?” “Can you reach a diagnosis without this test?” “Would a simpler treatment be equally effective?”
You should also research your condition online and learn as much about it as possible. Keep in mind that you may find “worst-case scenarios” that can be concerning without proper context. But it is essential that you have some background knowledge so that you are prepared to talk with your doctor.
Steps to Take After Medical Malpractice
If you have experienced medical malpractice or dental malpractice in the Fort Lauderdale area, here are the steps you can take to ensure you receive the compensation you deserve.
- Take detailed notes about your experience. This should include when your doctor provided a diagnosis, what the diagnosis was, what treatment they prescribed, how you responded to treatment, and anything else you can remember. Since you never know when medical malpractice may occur, this is a good practice to follow anytime you interact with a healthcare provider.
- Obtain medical records related to your diagnosis and treatment.
- Contact the personal injury and medical malpractice attorneys at Ginnis & Krathen.
- Avoid communicating with anyone other than your attorney about the incident, including insurance agencies about any medical reimbursement you may have been offered.
- Work closely with your medical malpractice attorney to receive fair compensation.
Take Action to Protect Your Rights
Medical malpractice and its repercussions can be physically painful, not to mention emotionally and financially stressful. Our medical malpractice attorneys at Ginnis & Krathen handle cases expertly and compassionately. Contact us today to learn about our services and gain an ally for the challenges ahead.