Medical Malpractice. When we hear these two words, we usually think of the most obvious cases: surgery on the wrong side of the body, instruments left inside the body, or misdiagnosing a patient. Sure, these situations constitute a medical malpractice lawsuit. There’s no question about it. But some medical malpractice situations are not as black and white. A medical provider’s negligence can come in all sorts of shapes, sizes, and colors. Failure to treat medical malpractice is one way your doctor or other medical staff members can be negligent.
Has a doctor’s failure to treat you led to injuries? You may be able to get compensated. Our team at Hampton & King can help you navigate through a failure-to-treat case. Contact us today to explore your options.
Safe In A Doctor’s Hands
“As long as I see a doctor, I’ll be fine.” Sound familiar? Many of us trust that no matter the situation, the doctor will take care of us. While we understand that even doctors can make mistakes, we’re certain they’ll properly diagnose and treat us.
But what happens when they don’t? What happens if you come to a hospital complaining about pain and they send you home? Without any diagnosis, treatment, or referral? This is an example of failure to treat medical malpractice. And it can be very serious.
What Failure To Treat Looks Like
Honest mistakes can and do occur in our healthcare systems. And failure to treat medical malpractice cases are often traced back to someone’s negligence. And they can happen in a variety of ways. Generally, it’s when a healthcare provider fails to take the necessary steps to diagnose and treat a patient. This leads to further injuries and harm.
Here are some examples of what failure to treat medical malpractice may look like:
- Failure to perform required tests to help determine cause of condition
- Not adequately monitoring a patient’s condition
- The doctor not treating a medical condition in a timely manner
- Releasing a patient too quickly
- Failure to refer a patient to specialists/other medical professionals
- Interpreting tests incorrectly
- Failure to treat patient due to payment inability
- Failure to stabilize the patient
- Not diagnosing or treating heart attack and stroke symptoms
- Medical staff not adhering to the standard of care
Here’s Why Failure To Treat Is Considered Medical Malpractice
So the doctor didn’t treat you. Or even properly diagnose you. What’s the worst that can happen? A lot.
When a medical condition is left without a diagnosis, necessary treatment gets delayed. If a doctor sends you home or fails to monitor you and start treatment right away, your current symptoms could worsen. Even if treatment is delayed by a few hours or days, severe damage could occur. In some instances, this failure to treat could result in death.
Here’s an example:
A patient comes into the hospital complaining of fatigue and sudden weight loss. For some reason the doctor doesn’t diagnose the patient and sends them home. They go about their business but the fatigue is only getting worse. Several weeks later the patient goes to a different medical facility for a second opinion. Now there’s a diagnosis: cancer.
Unfortunately the cancer is at stage 3. And although there is hope for survival, treatment is likely to take longer, cost more money, and take a bigger toll on the patient. The first doctor’s failure to treat caused unnecessary pain, suffering, and money.
Seeking Compensation By Filing A Failure To Treat Medical Malpractice Claim
Going up against a medical provider is no easy task. And proving negligence through a failure treat medical malpractice case can be difficult. Because it’s not as straightforward as a medical instrument left inside the body or the wrong leg amputated, for instance. A failure-to-treat claim requires a lot of time and precision. You’ll need to gather all necessary documents that are related to your case. And the number one thing you must present in your claim is this:
Your pain, injuries, or worsening of symptoms were the direct result of a doctor’s failure to treat you. Had they properly diagnosed you and started treatment within an adequate window, you could have avoided unnecessary suffering. Had a more professional and competent provider cared for you, you wouldn’t be dealing with those injuries.
If you’ve started to gather documents and believe there’s proof of negligence, keep reading to learn about the next step.
Find The Right Lawyer
There are hundreds of medical lawsuits that occur each year. But hospitals do a pretty good job at protecting the establishment and the healthcare providers they employ. That’s why it’s best to have an experienced attorney by your side. One who knows their way around malpractice cases.
Get Ready For Your First Meeting
So you think you’ve found a good lawyer and even set up an appointment with them. You don’t want to go into this meeting unprepared. To prepare for your first meeting with a lawyer, be sure to check out this helpful blog post. By bringing in documentation and receipts you’ll help present the full picture. It gives the attorney a good idea of what the next step would be for your potential failure to treat medical malpractice case.
So go ahead and put together all the paperwork including:
- Medical Records: this includes x-rays, CT-scans, and other testings/lab work
- Medical Bills: anything you’ve been billed for (related to this particular case)
- All Communication: bring along any record of communication between you and your provider (Such as online portal messages, discharge papers, etc.)
And please don’t delay that first meeting! A strict statute of limitations will likely apply. In many states you only have 2 years to file your claim. If you wait too long, you might be out of luck for any sort of compensation.
Failure To Treat Malpractice Settlements
If you’re ready to go through with filing a claim, you might be wondering: how much compensation will I receive for my doctor’s negligence and failure to treat me?
Here’s the thing – the value of your claim cannot be estimated until your lawyer is in the further steps of the case. We can tell you this – the amount of compensation you might receive depends on several different factors:
- How the doctor’s failure to treat you affected your condition
- The amount of money you’ve had to pay to make up for the mistake the doctor made (for example: having to pay more for additional treatments that could have been avoided)
- Future medical care that you’ll have to continue to pay because of the doctor’s negligence
- Lost wages. Maybe the doctor’s failure to treat you led to severe symptoms and injuries which required you to take time off of work. You could be compensated for this.
- Pain and suffering
You Have The Right To Seek Justice For Your Doctor’s Negligence
It’s not easy to leave the comfort of your home and make your way to the hospital when you aren’t feeling well. But going there and not getting any answers? No treatment let alone a diagnosis? We understand how frustrating a doctor’s failure to treat you can be. And how detrimental it could be to your health. It’s important to hold negligent healthcare providers accountable for their mistakes. Mistakes that could be the difference between life and death.
Contact our team at Hampton & King today for a free consultation. We can help you determine if your doctor’s negligence warrants a failure to treat medical malpractice case.
Failure to Treat Quick Answers
What is a Failure to Treat/Diagnose?
Failure to treat is when a doctor fails to treat or diagnose a patient, and the patient is harmed as a result. This may look like failure to perform required tests to help determine the cause of the patient’s condition. Maybe the doctor failed to monitor the patient’s condition. Or failed to diagnose the patient. If the doctor fails to treat a medical condition in a timely manner, that’s considered failure to treat too.
Is failure to treat considered medical malpractice?
Yes. If your doctor is negligent and fails to treat you, and you’re harmed as a result – that’s medical malpractice. The same is true if the doctor made a medical error, failed to treat you, and you’re harmed as a result. Malpractice.
What happens when the doctor fails to treat or diagnose a patient?
A number of things can happen. If your doctor fails to treat your condition, it can lead to an injury or serious harm. It can even lead to death. Things like failure to treat and diagnose can turn into real problems, and fast. Even if the doctor ends up diagnosing you later, the delay could cause serious problems. Sometimes, what would’ve been a simple treatment turns into an absolute nightmare. Healthwise and financially; wages lost, medical bills – all of the above.