When doctors are negligent, patients have the option of filing a medical malpractice lawsuit. Doctors carry medical malpractice insurance expressly for the purpose of financially protecting themselves from lawsuits, but that does not stop medical malpractice lawsuits from generating billions of dollars each year in settlements and awards.
It takes a very experienced personal injury attorney to put together a successful malpractice lawsuit, and most attorneys won’t even consider taking on a case unless there is a good chance of winning. How does a patient know when it is time to consider suing their doctor? For the patient, the process of deciding whether or not to consult an attorney about a lawsuit is much easier than actually putting the suit together.
Accepted Standard Of Care
In most cases, a medical malpractice lawsuit begins when the doctor breaches the accepted standard of care. For the patient, the problem becomes understanding exactly how to establish the accepted standard of care and understanding how it can be broken.
Side Effects, Adverse Events, Complications
During any procedure or the use of any medication, there can be adverse events, complications, and side effects. When your doctor is preparing you for a procedure or getting ready to prescribe a medication, they will normally discuss and potential side effects or complications with you. In some cases, you may have to sign a waiver regarding complications that will absolve the doctor of negligence if a complication occurs. While doctors do their best to avoid complications, sometimes a complication can be triggered by unforeseen events.
A side effect is sometimes bad, and sometimes good. In most cases, side effects refer to medications and your doctor can usually stop a side effect before it gets out of hand by taking you off your medication. But if a side effect is found to be beneficial, then that could help enhance the results that you get.
An adverse event is something that occurs usually do to an improper prescription, or negligence during a procedure. In most cases, your doctor is not going to warn you of potential adverse events because it is their job to avoid them. If you experience a sensation or other result that was not covered by the side effects or complications, then you are experiencing an adverse event. Most malpractice lawsuits result from adverse events.
What Should You Do?
It can sometimes be scary for a patient who is suffering an adverse event because oftentimes neither they nor their doctor really knows what is going on. The temptation for the patient is to go back to the same doctor to try and have the problem resolved, but this might only make things worse. If you experience an adverse event, it is best to get a second opinion as quickly as possible and try to have the problem resolved before it becomes a serious issue.
Patients should keep all of the paperwork they get from any procedure they get or medication they take in the event they experience an adverse event. If you find yourself suffering after a procedure or after taking a medication in ways you did not expect, then that is when it is time to look up an experienced medical malpractice attorney and seek out the compensation you need to get your life back on track.