Question: How do you decide if I have a case?
Answer: You have a case if you can prove two things: a deviation from the standard of care by the doctor or hospital and injuries or harm that was caused by the mistake.
First, you must prove that the doctor departed from good and accepted medical standards of care. This means that the doctor did not play by the rules in treating you.
Let’s say, for example, one day out of the blue you have severe chest pain that is dull and heavy and you’re rushed to the emergency room. The doctors and nurses check you over, but do not do any testing to rule out a heart attack or heart disease. You’re sent home with a clean bill of health.
Now, fast forward six weeks later, the chest pain returns and this time you pay a visit to your primary care doctor. But this time the doctor sends you back to the hospital where you are seen by a cardiologist and have a battery of tests to rule out heart disease. The doctor tells you that you have a blockage of the arteries that supply blood to your heart and you need an operation. But the good news is you haven’t had a heart attack and there is no permanent harm to you. You have the operation on your heart and you’re sent home as good as new.
Even though the ER doctor at the first hospital visit departed from the standard of care in failing to do testing to rule out heart disease, this did not cause any permanent harm or injury to you. Fortunately, your heart disease was diagnosed before you had a major heart attack. So, the defense lawyers would say, “No Harm, No Foul” in basketball lingo.
Even though the doctor departed from the rules that should have applied to a patient presenting with chest pain, there were no permanent consequences to you. This is not a case that I would accept.
Remember, it’s not enough just to prove that the doctor didn’t follow the rules. You must also prove that the doctor’s mistake caused significant injuries or harm to you. If you don’t have a violation of the standard of care that caused injuries, you don’t have a case.
Do you have questions? You can get our free ebook, The Seven Deadly Mistakes of Malpractice Victims, just by providing your name and email address at the home page of www.protectingpatientrights.com. We promise your information won’t be shared with third persons. And if you’d like to speak with me about your case, I welcome your phone call at 1-866-889-6882. I look forward to speaking with you.