Medical Malpractice: How To Be Your own Advocate

June 25, 2018
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Most people do not keep detailed records of their doctor visits. They simply rely on the fact that doctors are expected to take notes regarding their patients’ condition, the methods used to diagnose the condition, and the treatment plans that were discussed to treat the condition. Most people do not take the time to make their own notes on the visits they make to their family doctor, or even to a specialist, because they are trusting that their healthcare providers will actually record everything appropriately. Very few people go to the doctor while worrying about needing a medical malpractice attorney. Sadly, fatalities attributed to preventable medical errors are on the rise and medical errors are one of the leading causes of death in the U.S. Medical malpractice is defined as any act or omission by a physician during treatment of a patient that deviates from accepted norms of practice in the medical community and causes an injury to the patient. Medical malpractice is a specific subset of tort law that deals with professional negligence.

A Few Examples of Medical Malpractice

Individuals make mistakes in any industry and in any service area. As the saying goes, “To err is human.” Unfortunately, doctors are humans that can make mistakes as well, and, regrettably, not always unintentionally. Paperwork can be damaged, lost, incompletely filled out, or simply unavailable. Even electronic paperwork is not invincible, even though there are server backups and most valuable data is stored in secure locations. Doctors can misdiagnose, mistreat, and even mistakenly perform surgery on their patients. These occurrences are very unfortunate, but it is the harsh reality that they do occur and do cause harm to those who have to endure the consequences.

When Is It Medical Malpractice?

When someone is wondering whether or not they have experienced a case of malpractice – this is where a medical malpractice attorney can assist. At Rue & Ziffra, we have been assisting Daytona Beach and the surrounding areas with these kinds of cases for over four decades, and have over 182 years of combined experience when it comes to fighting for the justice our clients deserve. If there are any questions on whether or not a situation constitutes a medical malpractice claim, do not hesitate to contact us directly. The last thing we want is for a victim to not seek out the benefits that would be due to them and would help in their recovery simply because the fight against the insurance company seems too difficult, or the paperwork seems too overwhelming.

There are three major steps that must arise before a court of law will consider a situation to qualify as medical malpractice. Regrettably, harm must have been caused to the victim. Simply disagreeing with a doctor’s treatment plan or diagnosis is not enough to file a lawsuit for medical disability. In addition to the condition inflicted on the victim, the injury must have caused significant damage that results in a disability, lost wages, or sufficient suffering and pain. This is because medical malpractice lawsuits can be extremely costly, often requiring many hours of work and testimony from medical experts. If the harm caused by the incident or injury is not significant, then the actual expense of pursuing the claim can far outweigh the benefits received. Lastly, patients of doctors and hospitals can expect to receive a standard of care and service. If the service provider violates this standard (which is established by the reasonable healthcare that is provided by other healthcare providers for the same, or similar, medical conditions) then a malpractice claim can be feasible.

Understanding Medical Malpractice Claims

While there are a vast number of conditions that could possibly lead to a medical malpractice lawsuit, here are some of the examples that could constitute a claim: failure to recognize symptoms of an illness, errors during a surgery or procedure, surgery that was not needed, misinterpreting lab results, discharge of a patient before recovery was complete, or even not recording the patient’s medical history correctly. These are only a few of the possible causes of this type of claim. Sometimes the exact cause of the medical negligence can widely vary, especially in cases that might be rare medical issues. If you are uncertain, we can help! Having experience with over 28,000 personal injury cases gives us the knowledge necessary to assist in deciding whether a case of this type is worth your time and effort to pursue or not, and we are always willing to help in that determination.

The process of a medical malpractice claim can be simplified or even avoided by following a couple steps. First, even if it is for a routine exam, such as an annual physical, make notes on the dates of your doctors visits and the purpose of them. These routine visits can help establish a baseline or even show that a condition was not pre-existing before the incident occurred. Also, do the research. A doctor’s diagnosis does not need to be the end of the story. If you feel you are being misdiagnosed, research the symptoms, research the typical treatments, and research what kind of recovery process should be associated with the illness or condition. Research can even be done on the facility or the doctor as well. If a healthcare provider has a number of complaints against it, or there seems to be anything out of the ordinary when it comes to the standard of care given from a healthcare provider, do not feel obligated to continue to be a patient there, especially when one’s health could be at risk. When in doubt, it does not hurt to even get a second medical opinion – or the opinion of a medical malpractice attorney – before agreeing to a surgery, procedure, or treatment that the patient is uncomfortable with.

Don’t Make The Decisions Alone

The victim of an injury caused by medical malpractice does not have to make all these decisions alone. Here at Rue & Ziffra, we are zealous about justice for our clients. We passionately pursue the determination required in a court of law that benefits those who seek our counsel. We take personal injury cases very seriously and we do not require any fees until the case is won; the victim does not have to pay until we win their case. Our years of knowledge give us the edge when it comes to knowing exactly what is necessary to win a case. Let us be the medical malpractice attorneys that help you take the fight to the insurance companies. Do not let the big insurance companies deny the rightful benefits that are due to a victim.



  • Staff

    The staff at Rue & Ziffra are dedicated to assisting our attorneys with personal injury cases. We strive to help our clients stay informed about their cases and give the highest support to our attorneys in winning your case.

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