Due to variations in human anatomy, immunologic responses and healing variances, it’s quite possible for problems to arise with your medical condition even if your doctor did everything perfectly. However, some negative outcomes are caused by ignorance or carelessness. How can you know if your doctor has committed malpractice in your specific case? Here are four serious red flags.
Records are Difficult to Obtain or Missing
You have the right to full and complete copies of your medical records, including surgical reports, images and clinical notes. If your doctor will not release a copy of everything in your chart to you, you have reason to suspect something is wrong. This is especially true if there is no good reason for the delay. If you are being denied your medical records or the copies provided are not complete, you may want to contact a lawyer who specializes in malpractice.
You’re Ignored or Brushed Off
If your condition has not resolved and your doctor has no further ideas for treatment, he or she should be referring you to a specialist and keeping tabs on your progress. An ethical physician will not shove a ‘problem’ patient onto another provider. If you are getting the brush off or your complaints are being ignored, your doctor may be trying to hide something. If you suspect this may be the case, you may want to contact Tanner Law Firm or a similar specialty law office in your area for a consultation.
You Received a Delayed Diagnosis
For some medical conditions, a diagnosis comes only after months of meticulous testing. This is certainly routine, especially for more uncommon diseases and syndromes. However, if you received a diagnosis of stage four cancer after years of repeated visits for the symptoms, you may be the victim of malpractice. Diseases such as cancer, diabetes and osteoporosis are usually quite easy to detect with routine tests and blood work. If you suffered with a common or easy-to-identify condition for months or even years, your doctor may have made a serious error in judgment.
Your Doctor Bristles at You Seeing Other Providers
Ethical physicians know that another set of eyes may be just what their patient needs. If your doctor doesn’t want you to see anyone else, this is a huge red flag that there is something he or she does not want discovered. For example, a surgeon who used the wrong size implant in your hip might not want another orthopedic surgeon to see the error on an x-ray.
Sometimes, a bad result is without fault. Even the best efforts possible don’t always produce a cure or a great surgical outcome. A doctor making a careless or ignorant mistake, however, is malpractice. If you think your doctor may have made a mistake and isn’t owning it, contact legal representation.
About the author: A recent college graduate from University of San Francisco, Anica loves dogs, the ocean, and anything outdoor-related. She was raised in a big family, so she’s used to putting things to a vote. Also, cartwheels are her specialty. You can connect with Anica here.