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Legal Professionals of Fanelli, Evans & Patel, P.C

Finding relief when doctors make things worse, not better

When Pottsville residents go to see their doctor, the goal is to make things better, not worse. Unfortunately, this does not always occur, as doctors make errors from time to time that negatively impact the patient’s health.

There are many causes of doctor errors. For instance, last week this blog discussed how increased rates of depression among physicians increases the likelihood of human error. No matter what the cause of a particular error, however, the bottom line is that patients can suffer serious injury, or even death, when medical negligence takes place.

Often times, the injury to the patient may occur after the patient has already been impacted by an illness or injury. For example, the patient may be suffering from cancer, but the doctor fails to diagnose the cancer when the patient visits. This is a rather common occurrence, as doctors may dismiss symptoms as minor, when they are actually very serious symptoms of a larger illness that should be diagnosed.

In other cases, the patient may undergo surgery for one condition, only to end up suffering greater injury because of a surgical error committed by the doctor. Accordingly, even if the initial surgery itself was a success, the patient can be left with greater injury after the procedure.

When a patient suffers a worsened medical condition caused by the doctor, the patient may have a valid medical malpractice claim to bring against the doctor or hospital. If the patient can show he or she suffered further injury because of the doctor’s action or inaction in treatment, the patient can recover damages based on the worsened medical condition.

Source: Findlaw, “Failed/erroneous diagnosis and treatment,” accessed on Dec. 19, 2015