My Doctor Didn’t Help Me: Can I Recover Damages?

personal injury | September 23, 2022

When individuals go to the doctor for help, they expect to be treated. However, there are times when doctors do not uphold an adequate standard of care for their patients. When this happens, patients may be able to recover compensation if they sustained an injury or illness caused by the doctor’s negligence. Here, we want to discuss whether or not you can file a lawsuit against the doctor for failing to help you.

My Doctor Didn’t Help Me: Can I Recover Damages?

The Duty of Care Owed to a Patient

After a doctor-patient relationship has been established, this means that the doctor (or any other medical professional) is responsible for upholding a certain standard of medical care. The standard of medical care is actually a legal term, not a medical one, and revolves around determining whether or not a reasonably and similarly competent and skilled doctor would have acted differently under similar circumstances.

For example, suppose a person goes to the doctor for a particular ailment, but the doctor does not help, and that person subsequently sustains an injury or illness or their condition worsens. In this scenario, a medical malpractice claim could arise if it can be established that another similarly trained doctor would have treated the patient.

A delay in treatment can certainly lead to a person’s condition worsening. While this may not be much of a problem for something like the flu, this can certainly be an issue for various types of cancers, chronic illnesses, and cardiovascular events like strokes and heart attacks. If a person is not diagnosed properly and promptly, they could suffer from immediate and long-term consequences. In many cases, when a doctor does not treat an individual, the person thinks they are fine and does not seek a second opinion right away, at least not until the condition significantly worsens. This delay could be detrimental.

However, medical malpractice claims are very hard to prove and win. Medicine is not an exact science, and medical professionals are typically given leeway when it comes to treatment and the benefit of the doubt.

Working to Recover Compensation

If you or somebody you care about has been harmed due to the non-treatment of a doctor or another medical professional, we encourage you to reach out to a skilled medical malpractice attorney as soon as possible. Because of the complexity of these claims, a Sacramento injury attorney needs to get involved quickly. There are various processes involved in these types of claims that are not present in typical personal injury cases. This includes speaking to experienced and trusted medical professionals who can examine the evidence and provide statements that they think medical malpractice likely occurred.

Individuals who are successful in their claim in showing that the doctor did not treat them and that they sustained subsequent injuries or an illness may be able to recover various types of compensation. This includes coverage of medical expenses, pain and suffering damages, lost wages, and more.

It is imperative to file these claims as soon as possible. In general, the medical malpractice statute of limitations in California is two years from the alleged malpractice. There are various exceptions to this statute of limitations, but you need to get your claim filed as soon as possible.