Medical Malpractice: Know Your Rights If Dr. Dimwit or Nurse Ratchet Botched Your Medical Care

Posted By Michael R. Varble || 11-Oct-2013

What is medical malpractice and what are your rights if you are the victim of malpractice ? Today's blog post discusses what medical malpractice is, what to look for and what you can do about it.

Medical malpractice is defined in New York as the negligence of a doctor where there is a failure of the doctor to use reasonable care under the circumstances. The doctor must have done something or failed to do something that a reasonably prudent doctor would not have done or would do under the circumstances. Malpractice is a deviation or departure from accepted practice. We, as attorneys, look for the standard of practice in your area of medicine and in your area of the state or country and how the doctor's deviation from that standard injured you.

Any medical professional who treats a patient is required to have a reasonable degree of knowledge and skill of an average medical professional who performs the treatment on you. The doctor who treats you must provide medical treatment that is at or above the average standard of care for the medical community in which the doctor practices. There are certainly differences of doctors' abilities and they are not required to have extraordinary knowledge and/or ability. A doctor has to keep reasonably informed of new developments in his or her field of expertise. Your doctor must also use his or her best judgment. Doctors cannot guarantee good results and the fact that there has been a bad result in your medical treatment does not mean that a doctor committed malpractice and is, as a result, liable for malpractice. If your doctor is negligent, that is, lacks the skill or knowledge required of him or her in providing medical services, fails to use reasonable care in providing services, or fails to exercise his or her best judgment AND his or her failure is a substantial factor in causing harm to you, then the doctor may be held liable. Being held liable means that the doctor is ordered to pay you compensation for your injuries.

What does all of this mean ? Doctors are human and they make mistakes just like everyone else in the world. They have good days and bad days. Some doctors are more capable than others. Some doctors stay informed of new developments in medicine and some do not. In all, the medical community has a minimum standard of care for nearly every procedure that exists. What is a standard of care ? A standard of care is what the medical community believes, as a whole, should be done under a particular set of facts. For example, how long should a pregnant mother be in labor before an obstetrician must decide to perform a ceasarian section. Another example would be when should an orthopedist decide to perform surgery and insert plates and screws into a bone to repair a fracture. Doctors make these decisions about your medical care after consultation with you, but most of the public simply has no idea when these things should be done. Ask your neighbor if they know when to perform a ceasarian section or when to perform an open reduction with an internal fixation. I will bet that your neighbor, unless he or she is an obstetrician or an orthopedist, is not going to know when these procedures should be performed. As a result, doctors must know the minimum standards of care and should comply with them. If they do not and you are hurt because of their negligence, you are entitled to be compensated for pain and suffering along with many other types of damages.

What if there is a problem with birth of a child ? What if there is an infection with the surgery to repair a broken ankle ? Well, every complication does not mean that a medical professional committed malpractice. What we look at is the standard of care, such as how long was a mother in labor prior to the doctor deciding to perform a ceasarian section. Infections, for example, are a risk in any surgical procedure and really the onset of an infection is rarely going to be something that the medical community will consider malpractice. Now if an infection is caused because there is a foreign object left inside your body at the location of your surgery, that is a completely different story and that situation is almost always going to be considered malpractice.

How do we evaluate your case and decide whether malpractice has been committed ? First, we discuss the matter with you. Our clients occasionally have a doctor or other medical professional tell them that the prior procedure was botched and they should speak to an attorney. While this does not happen all the time and I find that doctors do not like to throw their colleagues under the bus, occasionally they have no choice but to tell the truth and let their patient know that they have been the victim of malpractice. If we do not have this information available, we collect your medical records, review them, conduct our own research, have the records reviewed by medical professionals and get the opinion of competent doctors on what took place with you medically. We are not out to file suit against doctors just because its how we like to spend our days in the office. We look for and spend our time on legitimate cases where people have been the victims of professional negligence who either should not be practicing or were having a really bad day. It happens. We all have insurance for a reason and this is yet another example of why people have insurance.

With all of this in mind, take a look back at the course of your medical treatment. If you believe that your treatment and recovery has not gone as well as it should have and there are questionable things that your doctor has said or done, give me a call for a free consultation. We evaluate cases for free and meet with clients free of charge. We take our representation of our client's seriously. We advocate for the rights of victims that have been injured by other people's negligence. We do everything possible to make you and your family whole again and we fight for you.

If you suspect that you have been the victim of malpractice, call for a free consultation today. Michael R. Varble & Associates, P.C., we'll fight for you !

Categories: Personal Injury

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