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When should you call a medical malpractice lawyer?

When should you call a medical malpractice lawyer?

If you believe you have suffered harm as the result of a doctor’s visit, including when a medical professional has failed to diagnose or treat a condition, and your health has worsened as a result, you should call an experienced California medical malpractice lawyer immediately.  Not every situation with a poor outcome meets the criteria for a medical negligence claim.  However time is of the essence, so it is important to have a skilled medical malpractice attorney review your situation and determine your next steps as soon as possible. 

In general, a few general factors provide the framework for determining whether you received negligent medical care, and if it may be possible to recover in a malpractice lawsuit.  Importantly, you must establish that the health care worker, whether a doctor, nurse or other care provider owes you a “duty of care.”  A friend’s advice not to seek treatment, or to pursue a particular remedy for your ailment – even if they are in the medical field – is generally not sufficient.  On the other hand, this relationship doesn’t depend on obtaining medical care in a physical office – drive through and other temporary health clinics where medical advice and treatment is delivered may be sufficient to establish a doctor patient relationship requiring a heightened standard of care.

A successful medical malpractice action will show that a the health care provider owed the patient a standard of care (based on the specific health care professional’s job – whether a nurse, doctor, anesthesiologist, etc.), and that the health care provider breached (failed to meet) that standard of care. 

The breach is a failure to do what is expected of that position.  Importantly, this breach must cause harm.  If the health care worker makes a mistakes, or otherwise acts negligently, and you are not hurt as a result, then it is unlikely you have a strong case.  However, if you suffer significant harm due to a medical error, you should contact a medical malpractice attorney at once. 

For more information, or if you believe you may have a medical malpractice claim, please contact the experienced San Francisco medical malpractice lawyers at Bostwick & Peterson for an immediate consultation.

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