Medical malpractice refers to professional negligence by a medical or healthcare provider leading to substandard treatment that results in profound and lasting effects on the patient’s mental health. Although the effects can differ depending on the severity of the malpractice.
Effects of Medical Malpractice and How It May Affect Your Health
This blog post will cover the mental effects of medical malpractice, signs of medical malpractice, and signs that you may have a valid medical negligence claim.
Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
Post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a chronic disorder that occurs to people who have experienced a traumatic event. Injury or harm from a medical care provider can cause PTSD that can last for months or even years. Some symptoms may include recurring intrusive thoughts, nightmares, general feelings of agitation, intense and involuntary flashbacks, persistent anxiety, nervousness, and restlessness, suicidal thoughts or actions, and recurring feelings of fear.
Medical Malpractice leads to loss of trust between the victim and the healthcare providers. When you experience doctor’s negligence, misdiagnosis, or wrong treatment, your trust in the medical system shatters. This can lead to feelings of helplessness and hopelessness which are symptoms of depression.
Other malpractice effects such as unseen wounds, chronic pain and disruption, legal battles and emotional toll, and loss of identity can trigger feelings of unworthiness and lack of self control increasing the chances of developing depression.
Financial Burden and Stress
Once a medical malpractice occurs, you and your family may undergo severe financial difficulties. You may face costs like injury treatment costs, rehabilitation costs, loss of income, and costs associated with long term healthcare. Eventually, the stress caused by this financial distress may lead to mental conditions such as anxiety. You must get in touch with The Tinker Law Firm PLLC to seek financial support for your recovery.
Impact on Social Support and Relationships
Your struggle and suffering after a medical malpractice can emotionally strain your loved ones.Your mental health may also affect relationships, eventually contributing to loneliness, guilt, and resentment.
Impact on Self-Esteem and Body Image
In some cases, medical malpractice victims experience disfigurement, physical injuries, and scarring. All these conditions can impact your body image and self esteem. You may suffer from embarrassment, shame and self-consciousness which can eventually lead to isolation and social withdrawal affecting your quality of life. To overcome these mental health conditions, you can opt for therapy or counseling to improve your self confidence.
Medical malpractice often leads to emotional distress such as extreme sadness, frustration, and anger. Other common signs of emotional distress include low or no energy, too much or little eating and sleeping, having unexplained aches such as stomach ache, excessive smoking and drinking, difficulty readjusting to work or home life. These symptoms can be severe to an extent of developing into a mental health disorder.
3 Common Signs of Medical Malpractice
If you’re a victim of medical malpractice, then you’re most likely facing serious, life-changing challenges. Common challenges include mental health effects, disability, or even overwhelming grief of a loved one as a result of negligence. Different states require that you file a case within a certain period of your injury or loss of a loved one. But, you should first determine the signs of medical malpractice to prove the alleged negligence. Below are a few examples:
Delayed or Missed Diagnosis
Delayed or missed diagnosis can result in irreversible harm through the exacerbation of your symptoms, or in extreme scenarios, death. Reasons for delayed or missed diagnosis vary depending on time taken for tests and scans or research for a rare condition. It can also be as a result of understaffed hospitals, incompetent medical personnel, mishandled tests and scans, or more.
Medication errors such as wrong dosage or wrong drug may also qualify as medical negligence. Others include, not including side effects or ignoring patients’ allergies.
Surgeries, including minor ones, have a certain risk level. However, surgeons can make unavoidable and unexpected surgical errors that’s beyond the known surgical risk. Common surgical errors include operations on the wrong patient kr site, nerve damage, anesthesia mistake, early or delayed discharge, damage to internal organs, or infection caused by unsanitary surgical instruments.
How to Know If You Have a Valid Negligence Claim
Sustaining an injury due to negligence or inadequate care by a healthcare provider can grant you legal grounds for a malpractice claim. However, it doesn’t necessarily mean that you have a valid negligence claim simply because you’ve sustained an injury during a medical treatment. That’s why you need to consult an experienced medical malpractice attorney from The Tinker Law Firm PLLC for a case evaluation. As a general rule of thumb, your attorney must prove the following four elements to establish a medical malpractice claim.
Duty of Care
Your attorney must prove there existed a relationship between you and the potentially liable physician. While this may seem pretty straightforward, sometimes it can be hard to prove.
Your alleged physician must have attended and provided medical treatment to you for a doctor-patient relationship to exist. If a physician just consulted on your case without giving any medical treatment directly, this requirement may fail.
Breach of Duty
Your attorney must prove obvious negligence by your doctor such as wrong surgeries or prescriptions. Breaching, breaking, or ignoring the standard of care can sometimes count as negligence.
For a medical malpractice claim, your doctor can only be legally responsible for injuries or illnesses directly occurring from negligence or deviation from the required standard of care. Otherwise, you may not qualify to sue for compensation if your injuries resulted from a pre-existing health problem.
Pursuing compensation due to medical malpractice means that you have the burden of proof. You’ll be required to prove the harm caused such as physical pain, mental agony, lost wages or earnings, or permanent disfigurement.
You and your loved ones can experience long-term effects of medical malpractice. Some severe outcomes of negligence can lead to permanent disabilities, physical injuries, mental disorders such as depression and PTSD, or even death. Besides seeking help from experienced healthcare professionals, you can also seek legal assistance for compensation and financial support in subsequent medical procedures. While medical negligence is difficult to prove, hiring an experienced personal injury attorney is necessary.