Skip to main content

How do I Know if a Doctor Made a Mistake?

By October 15, 2013July 18th, 2019Medical Malpractice

If you have had medical treatment and your outcome was not as expected or something went wrong, it is very important to determine if the doctor providing your treatment made a mistake. If the physician made an error, you are entitled to receive monetary compensation for medical malpractice. This means you can be fully compensated for any medical bills, lost income, pain and suffering, emotional distress or other damages that directly resulted from the mistake that was made.
Unfortunately, determining if the doctor made a mistake can be a difficult prospect since the practice of medicine is a highly technical and specialized field. An experienced medical malpractice attorney can assist you in taking the necessary steps to determine if a doctor made a mistake, but it is also helpful for you to understand the process of determining whether a medical error was made.
How to Determine if the Doctor Made a Mistake
To evaluate whether your physician made a mistake, you need to consider the treatment that you received and the outcome of the treatment.
• Were you fully informed and did you give informed consent? A failure to obtain informed consent is a mistake that can lead to a malpractice case.
• Did the doctor fail to diagnose your condition or follow-up on the care? Failure to diagnose is one of the top causes of medical malpractice cases against primary care doctors.
• Did the doctor operate on the wrong body part, perform an operation you didn’t need or leave a surgical instrument inside of you? If so, this can be considered a clear example of negligence and you can take legal action even without specifically proving that the doctor was negligent.
• Did the doctor provide substandard treatment that no reasonable doctor with his background would have offered? If any reasonable doctor would have been more careful or done better, then your doctor can be considered to have made a medical mistake that can lead to a malpractice lawsuit.
In a medical malpractice case, you have the burden of proving that the doctor made an unacceptable mistake. This means you will need to obtain your medical records, have those records reviewed by an independent medical expert and undergo an exam by an independent medical expert.
The medical expert you consult with to evaluate your case can testify on your behalf in a medical malpractice trial about the mistakes your doctor made in order to prove that your doctor’s actions (or omissions) were unprofessional and inappropriate. Since it can sometimes be challenging to find a physician willing to testify against another doctor, it is helpful to consult with a medical malpractice lawyer to find an expert who can testify on your behalf.