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Medical Negligence: Taking Legal Action
Medical negligence or malpractice occurs when a medical practitioner does something that is contrary to the common treatment of a medical condition. Because of this action, the patient must be harmed or injured for malpractice to have occurred. This is the most important part of establishing a medical malpractice claim.
Medical malpractice does not occur when the expected treatment does not provide the desired results. If a treatment plan is the standard treatment for a condition but does not work for the patient, malpractice has not occurred.
Examples of medical malpractice include:
Undertreating a medical condition
Overtreating a medical condition
Birth injuries to newborn or mother
Infections after treatment
A misdiagnosis only occurs if the doctor failed to diagnose a condition that could have been discovered under normal treatment conditions. For example, a person goes to the doctor with a severe headache and neck ache after camping all weekend. The doctor simply tells them to go home and rest and take an aspirin because they are most likely sore from sleeping outside. In reality, the doctor should have checked for meningitis as a result of potential mosquito bites from being out in the woods. Knowing the patient was outside and that these symptoms are common for meningitis, the doctor would have misdiagnosed the case.
Under or over treating a condition is also a form of malpractice. A headache with the right additional symptoms may be more than a headache and in need of testing and special medications. On the flip side, a headache may only be a headache and the patient may just need sleep and a mild pain reliever.
Prescription and treatment errors often go together. If the treatment was incorrect for the condition, the medication is often also incorrect. Surgical errors can include many different issues, including the onset of infection due to the surgical procedure.
Birth injuries are often considered medical negligence. Injuries to the baby during and directly after birth as well as to the mother fall under this category. Failing to induce labor, perform a cesarean in a timely manner or misuse of forceps can lead to harm of the baby and the mother.
Bed sores can occur from malpractice as well. Patients that are hospitalized for long periods of time need to be moved and turned at regular intervals so that their body does not develop bed sores. These sores can lead to extensive damage to the skin and surrounding tissue, cause serious infections and may even lead to death. A bed sore that occurs in a hospital or nursing home is the direct result of mistreatment.
Biased treatment is also a form of malpractice. Sadly, many doctors have biases against people and will not provide them with the correct or effective treatment based on those biases. An example of this would be a failure to treat an overweight person because they are overweight. This occurs more often than one would believe and leads to many people needlessly suffering.
What To Do If You Feel You Are A Victim Of Malpractice
If you feel that you are a victim of malpractice, there are steps that you should take to protect your rights. Following these steps will allow you to build a case for compensation.
Get Immediate Treatment From A New Physician. If you have been injured by a medical practitioner, it is important to stabilize your health. Your health is the most important factor. Seek medical care to treat, correct or fix the problem and document everything that is said in your initial consultation and projected treatment plan.
Follow New Medical Advice. Make sure that you follow the advice of your new medical care provider so that you can begin to recover from the injury or damage caused by the former practitioner. It will be very important in your case to show that you are willing to receive the correct treatment for this condition.
Contact OKC medical negligence lawyers about your case. You will want to speak with an attorney as soon as possible after you have discovered malpractice has occurred. Your attorney will then begin the process of establishing treatment and preparing a case for compensation.
Document Everything. You will want to keep a diary of everything that is taking place because of the injury. Document your treatment and the results. Document conversations with medical care providers. Write down things about your daily life, both good and bad that are a result of the injury. Write down things you are prevented from doing because of the injury as well as the accomplishments you make due to your new treatment. Stay very honest in this journal so that a true picture of the damages caused by the injury is easy to determine.
Work Closely With Your Attorney. Your OKC medical negligence lawyers are very experienced in these types of cases and will provide you with valuable recommendations on how to make your case more successful. Your attorney may recommend certain actions, ask you to refrain from certain actions, and will ask you to submit paperwork and attend all of your medical appointments. Following these instructions carefully will help your case proceed in a timely and positive manner.
A Note About Social Media
It is very important that when you are involved in any type of injury case that you refrain from posting information on any social media site about your condition. In fact, it may be advisable to limit all of your postings altogether during the time your case is active. Social media posts are public information and everything you post will be monitored by the opposing party.
Posts that are negative about the doctor who is being charged with malpractice will make you appear aggressive and in search of revenge in the eyes of the insurance company. Posts about feeling better or going out to do something with your family will make it appear that you are not injured. Pictures of you smiling or participating in activities, even if they are from before the incident that injured you, will make it appear as if you are not injured at all.
From the minute that the insurance company is informed that you are seeking compensation for your injuries, they will begin to monitor all of your social media. It is also in your best interest to not accept any new “friends” during this period and ask your family members and others on your friends’ list to limit what they say about you, your injuries and your case during this time period online.