Imagine that you have a health condition, and you go to the doctor to get a diagnosis and treatment. After the recommended treatment concludes, your condition is worse. You assume this means the doctor made a mistake or did something wrong, opening up the door for a medical malpractice case.
Is this true? Maybe. A poor outcome doesn’t always equate to medical malpractice. A lot of things have to be considered.
What are the industry norms?
What you need to determine is if malpractice is the reason for your poor outcome or not. In a report in the US National Library of Medicine, medical malpractice is defined as “any act or omission by a physician during treatment of a patient that deviates from accepted norms of practice in the medical community.” So, what are those norms? Were they violated?
For instance, there are many cancer patients who get proper care every year and still see their conditions decline. This doesn’t mean the doctor did anything wrong, as long as they adhered to the norms and offered the type of care the patient should expect. Cancer is just a hard disease to treat and even world-class care does not always cure it.
On the other hand, there are also people who pass away from cancer after the doctor mistakes it for an ulcer or a rash. In these cases, if the doctor was negligent and should have known what he or she was dealing with, that mistake may be the cause of the patient’s decline or death. This may constitute medical malpractice if the norms were not met.
What can you do next?
If you think that a doctor did offer a lower level of care than you deserved, then you need to know what steps you can take to protect your interests. It may be time to speak with a medical malpractice attorney about your situation.