Medical malpractice cases are complicated. If you feel like a physician has done something wrong, then you may be tempted to sue for malpractice. However, you may not actually have a case. While only a lawyer can provide you with insight into your case and whether you can sue a physician and win, you should take a look at your situation to see if it likely has merit. Specifically, there are several signs that your medical malpractice case should not go forward. Keep reading to learn about a few.
You Were Not Harmed
There are some fairly basic criteria that need to be met before you are able to sue a physician. At the very top of the list is a direct injury due to the malpractice. In other words, you must have sustained some sort of harm due to the actions or inactions of the doctor. If the doctor acted negligently and you were not injured, you cannot sue simply because the doctor acted in an inappropriate manner.
For example, If your doctor ordered routine blood tests and the tests showed extremely high cholesterol levels, then your doctor should have noticed this and spoken to you about it. If they did not, then this is considered negligence due to inaction. However, if you decided to change doctors and the new physician catches the abnormality, then you were likely not injured if you remained in relatively good health for this period of time. You cannot sue your original physician in this case.
If this same situation occurred and you had a heart attack soon after the bloodwork was ignored, then you may have a difficult time proving negligence as well. Your doctor can argue that the heart attack would have occurred regardless of the negligent actions. Since many factors can contribute to a heart attack, direct negligence on the part of your physician cannot be proven.
Injuries and negligence can be complicated, so speak with a malpractice attorney to better understand if your situation is one that should be explored further.
Care Was Provided In Good Faith
Doctors are not perfect, and physicians often have their own theories and methodologies when it comes to treating patients. This means that any two doctors who are considered experts in their field may not use the same medicines, surgical approaches, and basic treatments as another doctor. However, if one physician does not follow the same treatment plan, it does not necessarily mean that they were negligent because they failed to provide you with one medicine over another.
In other words, if your physician cared for you and provided treatment in line with your specific disorder, then you cannot claim that the physician acted negligently. For example, if you develop a cancerous tumor, then your doctor may deem the tumor inoperable due to its location close to your brain stem. A traditional approach of radiation and chemotherapy may then be used to treat you. If you later decide to receive a second opinion and another doctor thinks that the tumor can be surgically removed, then the first doctor was not necessarily negligent, even if the tumor has grown and caused complications.
Physicians use their expertise, past treatment approaches, and scientific research to treat patients. While one physician may feel that an approach is too risky due to the potential outcomes, it does not mean that another doctor would feel differently. Just because the outcome was not positive does not mean that the doctor was negligent.
However, you should understand that negligence comes into play if the physician decides to use a non-traditional approach to treatment that is not backed by scientific and medical research. For example, if your doctor asks you to take herbal remedies and to pray instead of providing medicine, then the individual failed in their duty of care. Since the doctor deviated from suggested and acceptable medical treatments, then you can sue if your cancer spreads, worsens, or causes another ailment.
To learn more about medical malpractice, contact an attorney at a law firm such as R.J. Marzella & Associates, P.C.