Steps to Take if a Doctor Isn’t Handling Your Injury or Illness Correctly

By Osborne & Francis
October 25, 2023

We rely on healthcare providers to help us heal from chronic illnesses to acute injuries and everything in between. In some cases, doctors may not offer the quality of care you deserve, resulting in additional health problems. If you have been further injured or developed an illness as the result of negligent medical treatment, you may be entitled to recover compensation in a medical malpractice lawsuit.

It can be overwhelming to juggle all of the additional expenses and tasks associated with a medical malpractice injury, let alone file a personal injury claim in the midst of your recovery. Let the medical malpractice attorneys of Osborne & Francis negotiate your claim. You can reach out to us at (561) 678-0156 or contact our offices in Boca Raton or Orlando to schedule a free case evaluation. We can provide you with the resources you need to mount an effective medical malpractice claim for the compensation you deserve.

Mishandling Your Illness or Injury Could be Medical Malpractice

If you are in the midst of seeking treatment for an illness or injury, it’s beneficial to be aware of what practices constitute medical malpractice, and which ones don’t. Not every medical mistake qualifies as medical malpractice. In order for a plaintiff to recover compensation for damages in a medical malpractice lawsuit, the following must be true:

  • The mistake in question occurred within the context of a doctor/patient relationship
  • It violated the standard of care
  • Failure to provide the standard of care resulted in harm
  • The harm resulted in damages

Medical malpractice claims are notoriously difficult to handle, so it is important to seek out the assistance of an experienced medical malpractice attorney as soon as you recognize your doctor’s mishandling of your illness or injury may be medical malpractice.

Types of Medical Malpractice

Misdiagnosis or Delayed Diagnosis 

Unfortunately, many of us know what it feels like to be dismissed by a healthcare provider. Not only is this invalidating, but it can also have real consequences for your physical health. For example, maybe your doctor has repeatedly brushed off symptoms that would indicate a different diagnosis and disqualify your current diagnosis. 

Or, maybe your diagnosis has been delayed because your provider isn’t taking your concerns seriously. These are both potential examples of medical malpractice if another doctor with similar experience and knowledge would have correctly identified your condition and accounted for all of your symptoms.

Medication Errors

Another common form of medical malpractice is providers making critical medication errors.

For example, if a patient tells their doctor that the medication has not alleviated their symptoms or if they mention concerning side effects, the provider should consider taking action. This can mean adjusting the dosage or switching to a new medication. Providers are also responsible for considering how one medication interacts with another to ensure that one medication does not negate the effect of another, or cause damage.

Surgical Errors 

Surgeons are responsible for providing the patient in their operating room with the standard of care. Unfortunately, surgeons have also been known to leave a sponge or surgical instrument inside patients, which can lead to infections, internal bleeding, blockages, and a number of other life-threatening issues. Other common surgical errors include accidental lacerations, using the incorrect implant, using or administering an allergen, and failing to accurately execute the steps of the surgery. Surgical errors can have catastrophic consequences for the patients who suffer them.

Common Injuries and Illnesses Misdiagnosed or Mistreated by Medical Professionals

There are a number of injuries and illnesses that may go undiagnosed or mistreated by healthcare providers due to their varying presentations, similarity to other more common conditions, and, unfortunately, providers not taking patient concerns seriously. For people who have previously been diagnosed with another condition, specifically a mental health condition, it can be even more difficult to get an accurate diagnosis because providers will attribute physical symptoms to mental conditions.

Examples of Commonly Misdiagnosed Health Conditions:

Women and People of Color are Often Mistreated in Treatment Centers

When we talk about doctors and other healthcare providers dismissing patients or mishandling their injuries, there are certain groups that are more at risk of receiving this kind of biased treatment. Women and people of color, especially women of color, are more likely to be subjected to prejudiced treatment in healthcare settings. Unfortunately, there is a long history of women and people of color being essentially experimented on in the name of furthering medicine.

Well-known examples include the Tuskegee Syphilis Study or J. Marion Sims’ violating gynecological experimentation on enslaved Black women. Prejudiced ideas about how women and people of color experience pain and their overall competency still persist today. In the modern context, racial or gender discrimination may manifest as condescension, dismissal of symptoms, refusal to provide pain relief or medication, or even bullying or assault.

The Consequences of Delayed Diagnosis or Misdiagnosis 

When a healthcare provider is unable or unwilling to provide a diagnosis, the effect is that treatment is delayed. For most health issues, early intervention is when treatment is most effective. If an injury or illness is left unchecked, bones can regrow incorrectly and compromise mobility, cancer can metastasize, and diabetes can damage organs, to name a few examples.

In cases where a treatment has been administered based on a misdiagnosis, there are two major potential risks. The first is that the treatment, being based on an incorrect diagnosis of the actual health issue, is ineffective and the health condition is left to worsen or at least remain the same. The second option is that the treatment given actively exacerbates the real condition that was misdiagnosed.

When to Seek a Second Opinion and Consider a Medical Malpractice Lawsuit

You are well within your rights to seek a second opinion, especially if you have reason to believe that your healthcare provider is not treating you with the standard of care. If you have experienced one or more of the following, it may be worth seeking a second opinion from another healthcare provider. You should also consider speaking with a medical malpractice attorney.

  • Your concerns have been dismissed, even after symptoms persist
  • Your treatment has been ineffective or harmful and your provider won’t reevaluate your treatment plan
  • You haven’t received a diagnosis after a reasonable amount of time has passed
  • Your diagnosis is not consistent with your symptoms
  • You have experienced a “never event”

When to File a Medical Malpractice Lawsuit

There is a 2-year statute of limitations for medical malpractice claims in Florida, which means that you should not delay speaking with a medical malpractice attorney if you suspect that your doctor has failed to provide the standard of care. The process of filing and negotiating a personal injury claim can often take months, and sometimes over a year, so the sooner you initiate the process, the closer you are to securing the compensation you deserve.

Why Should I Choose Osborne & Francis to Represent Me?

At Osborne & Francis, we specialize in medical malpractice claims. For nearly a decade, our team has maximized compensation for our clients who were harmed by a healthcare provider’s negligence. We have the technical expertise and extensive resources to thoroughly investigate and negotiate complex medical malpractice claims.

As medical malpractice attorneys, we are proud to have earned the trust of clients across Florida by representing their interests against powerful insurance companies to get them the compensation they deserve. If you have been harmed while seeking treatment for an existing injury or illness, it is in your best interest to contact a dedicated medical malpractice attorney to advocate for compensation for your damages.

Contact Osborne & Francis to Speak with an Experienced Medical Malpractice Attorney 

At Osborne & Francis, we are committed to providing you with the legal support you need to recover compensation for damages like medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering. With our medical malpractice attorneys by your side, you can rest assured that your needs will be prioritized.

Our trial attorneys won’t shy away from negotiating your medical malpractice claim in court if the negligent provider’s insurance carrier won’t offer you a fair settlement. Instead, we will diligently investigate your personal injury claim to secure the evidence we need to meet the burden of proof and establish liability.

The medical malpractice attorneys of Osborne & Francis understand what is at stake, and we will go above and beyond to secure a settlement that meets your needs. You can reach out to us at (561) 678-0156 or contact our offices in Boca Raton or Orlando to schedule a free case evaluation with our team. We look forward to speaking with you in greater detail about your medical malpractice claim and explaining the services we offer.

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Quick and fair resolution to a unique case. On advice of my own attorney, I engaged Joseph Osborne of Osborne & Francis of Boca Raton, FL. Mr. Osborne had considerable experience in cases such as mine and the results showed that. Mr. Osborne and his staff were very helpful, kept me up to date, and listened to my input. The settlement was very fair as far as I am concerned.

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