Failure to Treat
What is Failure to Appropriately Treat?
When a physician negligent fails to provide a treatment that could potentially save the patient’s life, the consequences can be tragic. When such conduct occurs, the treating healthcare provider may have exhibited behavior that failed to meet the acceptable standards of care, causing the patient to suffer injury or damages as a result. Failure to appropriately treat can result in delayed treatment, treatment for a condition the patient does not have, or no treatment at all. A doctor might rush through an examination to move on to the next appointment, could fail to acknowledge a patient’s symptoms, or could draw a conclusion based on overconfidence rather than objective test results.
These—and other similar mistakes—can result in a physician missing clear indicators of an illness or disease, which in turn could lead to a failure to treat a serious medical condition appropriately. When a patient suffers from a failure to appropriately treat, the results can be devastating. The Brothers Law Firm helps those who find themselves in such an untenable situation. We understand that your trust in a medical professional has been damaged, along with your health and your future.
What is the Difference Between Failure to Appropriately Treat and Failure to Diagnose?
In a failure to diagnose scenario, the doctor has generally missed the condition altogether. Perhaps the doctor misread the lab reports, failed to do a thorough physical workup, failed to properly consider the patient’s medical history, or failed to listen to the patient’s list of symptoms. In a failure to diagnose, there has not been a medical diagnosis made, while in a failure to appropriately treat, there is generally a diagnosis, but no follow-up, meaning no appropriate treatment. When there is a failure to appropriately treat, the medical provider may not know the condition exists—which is similar to failure to diagnose. Still, more often, the medical provider is aware of the condition but fails to treat the condition for a number of reasons.
Examples of Failure to Appropriately Treat
Even though medical providers are highly educated, in some instances, a doctor could arrive at the right diagnosis but fail to recommend adequate treatment. Such situations are more common among doctors treating too many patients, resulting in profits being placed over the patients’ safety. Some examples of failure to appropriately treat include:
- Providing medical treatment, but providing that treatment much too slowly, causing harm to the patient
- Neglecting to provide a patient with a specialist referral
- Failure to continue to monitor a patient’s known medical condition
- Failure to perform additional medical tests to support a diagnosis
- Failure to properly educate a patient regarding available treatments
- Failure to treat a patient at all due to lack of insurance
- Failure to adhere to accepted standards of medical care
- Failure to treat symptoms of a serious medical condition, such as a heart attack or stroke
- Failure to properly communicate essential facts to the patient regarding his or her condition
When a doctor or other medical professional fails to appropriately treat a patient, the patient’s condition could worsen, causing irreparable harm. In some cases, a relatively simple treatment could have saved a patient from serious consequences—or could have saved the patient’s life.
Is Failure to Appropriately Treat Medical Malpractice?
Failure to appropriately treat a medical condition could result in grounds for legal action against the medical professional. Of course, a lawsuit will not make the pain go away and will not restore lost health. What it can do is compensate those injured by a failure to appropriately treat for their medical expenses, lost wages, future lost income, and pain and suffering for a preventable mistake. If a failure to appropriately treat resulted in a loved one’s death, then a wrongful death claim could compensate family members for medical and funeral expenses, pain and suffering, and lost income from the deceased.
Medical negligence is present when a medical professional failed to meet the required standard of care—that is, they failed to act in a way that a similarly trained medical professional would have done, given the same circumstances. To prove medical malpractice, the following must be clearly shown:
- First, did the medical professional have a duty of care—was there a patient/doctor relationship between the medical professional and the patient? In most cases, this is easy to show—you made an appointment with a doctor, saw the doctor, and were billed for the visit.
- Next, did the medical professional deviate from the accepted standard of care? When a healthcare provider agrees to provide medical treatment, they must give that treatment according to the accepted medical care standards. Proving deviation from the accepted standards of care usually requires expert witness testimony to establish the “normal” medical care standards.
- The injured patient must show that the patient suffered an injury because the medical professional deviated from the accepted standards of care. Proving causation could be relatively straightforward or could require witness testimony, medical reports, or other evidence types.
- The final piece to proving medical malpractice lies in showing that the medical professional’s refusal to follow the accepted standard of care not only caused the injury but resulted in damages that should be compensated. Medical malpractice damages could include further medical treatments, medical expenses, rehabilitative therapies, lost current and future wages, and pain and suffering
How The Brothers Law Firm Can Help Those Injured by Failure to Appropriately Treat
At The Brothers Law Firm, we have the much-needed resources to fight back. We have developed strong relationships with many highly credentialed expert witnesses from a wide range of disciplines, meaning we do not have to search for experts when we need them for your case. Attorney John Brothers has made it his life’s work to help those struggling in the aftermath of medical malpractice, providing injury victims with access to exceptional advocacy. Contact The Brothers Law Firm today for a comprehensive evaluation of your medical malpractice claim.