A Doctor’s Ongoing Duty of Care as a Physician
In the medical world, doctors are held to a higher standard of care than other professionals. As patients, we expect that doctors have received a specialized type of knowledge and expertise through their education. Doctors are expected to use this specialized knowledge to provide professional medical treatment to the patients who require it.
When doctors fail to conform their conduct to the standard of care that is expected of them, a medical malpractice case can ensue. Medical malpractice refers to a type of negligence case in which a doctor, or other medical professional, has failed to provide the care that we expect of medical professionals. Medical malpractice can occur in a variety of ways, including the provision of the wrong prescription, failure to diagnose an illness or even the failure to act on test results that indicate a potential illness.
Family Alleges Medical Malpractice in Case Involving Doctor’s Failure to Use Test Results
In a recent case, a Virginia family asserted a medical malpractice claim when a doctor failed to consider the test results of its loved one. A man died as a result of a physician’s failure to diagnose lung cancer within him. The lung cancer could have been detected through an X-ray exam that indicated a risk of cancer in the two years prior to his death.
The family requested $3 million in damages in a wrongful death case that took place in Botetourt County Courthouse in Fincastle. After the filing of the initial petition, a judge granted an out of court settlement for $1.3 million.
The Facts of the Case
In this case, the patient who died of lung cancer may have been able to avoid this serious illness with medical help early on. The man had initially gone to the doctor for an appointment relating to a knee surgery. At the outset of the knee surgery, doctors performed X-ray testing on the man. Several of the X-ray test results indicated that the man had a massive lump in his lung region. Despite these indications, family members allege that medical professionals never instructed the man to seek additional medical help. They never made the man aware of the alarming mass that was revealed in the X-ray exam. The family suffered a tremendous loss as the man ultimately passed away as a result of lung cancer.
Patients Must Receive the Treatment They Need
Every patient who visits a hospital or clinic ought to receive the best medical care possible. When doctors fail to do their job, it is up to patients to seek remedies under the law. Unfortunately, we must hold doctors accountable for their negligence under the law.
The filing of a medical malpractice case is one ways in which patients can seek the relief that they require under the law. If a patient has suffered due to a doctor’s failure to diagnose an illness, it may be that his or her family members need to assert a legal claim on behalf of the individual. The individual may be so severely ill that he or she is unable to assert the claim alone. In the tragic instances in which a patient has died, family members may continue to pursue a wrongful death action on behalf of the deceased.
Proving Medical Malpractice
If a patient has been harmed due to the negligence of a doctor, he or she will need to prove several factors in a court of law. A medical malpractice attorney can assist a patient in navigating the complex negligence laws of his or her jurisdiction. It is likely that the patient will need to assert the medical malpractice claim in the location in which the negligence first occurred. However, a medical malpractice attorney can carefully read any applicable statutes to determine whether a change of venue may be proper or favorable in one’s case.
In a medical malpractice case, the patient must prove that he or she was owed a duty of care from a medical professional, and that this duty of care was somehow breached. He or she will have to outline the standard of care that was expected from the doctor. Further, the patient will need to show that the doctor’s conduct caused harm to the patient, and that the patient suffered damages as a result.
Stand Up for the Legal Rights of Your Loved One
If you or a loved one has suffered due to the negligence of a doctor, it is time to stand up for your legal rights. Call a medical malpractice attorney today to receive the help that you need in moving forward in your case. All patients deserve to be treated with the utmost care and respect by the physicians entrusted to their medical cases.