The number of medical malpractice cases is growing across the country and this is a matter of concern for patients who trust providers for restoring their health and wellbeing.
While many of such cases happen at hospitals and bigger healthcare facilities, there isn’t a dearth of issues with small health clinics as well.
The fact that getting on-demand services in these clinics is easy makes them popular amongst patients.
You need not wait for long appointments as in hospitals and can get immediate help for minor medical issues.
But at the back of your mind, you would certainly want to know more about dealing with medical malpractice cases if you come across negligence at a health clinic.
Obviously, the case will differ from that of a typical surgical or hospital negligence case.
Let us explain what to expect and how to deal with medical malpractice cases involving healthcare clinics.
The case of medical negligence in clinics
Essentially, medical clinics are the facilities that offer outpatient care to the patients. They are different from hospitals, both in terms of the kind of treatment and scale of services they provide.
However, when it comes to the injuries sustained during treatment at health clinics, you may still have a valid malpractice claim.
This will be against the health clinic and its medical staff who showed negligence while treating you. And the criteria for proving liability will be the same as they are for hospitals.
Additionally, you need to understand that the chances of human error inpatient treatment are greater in clinics as compared to big facilities and hospitals.
This is because of the nature of patient care being non-continuous. Further, clinics seldom have a tight structure of policies and procedures.
Without any doubt, you can go ahead and demand compensation for the injuries caused by malpractice or negligence at a clinic.
Physician errors result in negligence
The role of a doctor or healthcare provider is to save lives, no matter where they work, and treat the patients.
Basically, a healthcare provider owes the patients a duty of care, regardless of the fact whether he or she is a surgeon in a famous hospital or just working as a physician’s assistant in a small health clinic.
They are obligated to provide services that match a certain standard; any action which is negligent or reckless and breaches this standard of care may be regarded as medical malpractice.
If you want to file a case, you need to bear in mind facts about negligence and the standard of care to validate your claim. We will further explain these factors in detail as well.
Types of medical malpractice in healthcare clinics
When it comes to malpractice or negligence in a health clinic, you cannot expect the incidents to be the same as those in the hospital settings.
They are likely to be less serious but the implications can get adverse for some patients.
Things can get tricky for such serious cases and only an experienced law firm can help you prove your point with the relevant evidence.
Essentially, you have a valid claim if you experience worsened illness or suffer an injury due to wrong treatment or lack of treatment at a clinic.
The common cases involve misdiagnosis, failure to diagnose, wrong treatment, and prescription errors.
Even abandonment of the patient or not giving them timely care can be regarded as a case of malpractice against the clinic.
This becomes all the more critical in emergency situations because every second counts and delay can be dangerous for the patient.
Proving liability of a clinic
If you are looking to file a medical malpractice claim against a health clinic, you will need to prove their liability in the first place.
For this, you will have to substantiate the following to ensure that you have a valid claim:
1. Duty of care
The healthcare professional at the clinic owed you a duty of care while following a specific standard.
The law defines the standard as the amount of care which a reasonably competent physician with similar educational background and skill would provide.
2. Breach of duty
They breached their standard duty of care. This can be proved by getting an expert to testify that the provider’s conduct was below the expected standard of care.
The expert is often another practitioner with similar capabilities.
Their action or omission was the direct cause of your injury or illness. The court would want to ensure that the injury wouldn’t have occurred but for the doctor’s action.
You suffered physical, mental, or emotional harm as a result of the injury or illness. Unless there is damage in some form, you don’t have a medical malpractice case.
Proving these criteria is easier said than done for the victim. Your attorney will have to gather appropriate medical evidence and testimonies from experts like other care providers who can prove the negligence and the resulting damage.
This can be an uphill task because every detail matters when it comes to proving your point in personal injury cases.
You can expect an extended legal battle, even if the malpractice is obvious because a provider or clinic would go a long way in protecting their reputation.
Still, you shouldn’t give up hope and absolutely fight for your rights because you trusted the clinic and they broke the trust with their negligent behavior.
Medical malpractice cases are often complicated and there isn’t a way to get through unless you have expert professionals to represent you.
While fighting out against a big hospital or healthcare facility can be a challenge, things may not be easy while dealing with small health clinics as well.
Lack of awareness is what makes patients give up or not even file compensation when they get injured in clinical settings.
Awareness is the key while getting good legal guidance can also go a long way in enabling you to secure a claim you rightfully deserve.
A seasoned attorney can help you get the claim and justice as well!
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