When Should You Seek a Second Medical Opinion?
Posted in Medical Malpractice on June 8, 2021
When we seek help from a medical professional, we trust that he or she will take the necessary steps to diagnose and treat our conditions. However, some healthcare providers do not uphold their standards of care to their patients, committing acts of negligence that cause serious injuries and worsening illnesses. If you are visiting a medical provider and you suspect that he or she is not providing the care that you need, you should seek a second opinion from another professional.
Types of Medical Malpractice
Medical providers need to uphold a certain standard of care while treating patients. Specifically, they are required to provide the same level of care that a similarly trained and reasonable medical professional would have done under the same circumstances. If a medical provider deviates from this standard of care, he or she may be liable for medical malpractice.
Common types of medical malpractice include the following.
- Prescription drug errors
- Misdiagnosis or failure to diagnose a condition
- Failure to order the proper diagnostic tests
- Misreading laboratory results
- Surgical errors, such as organ perforation
- Anesthesia errors
- Birth injuries
When Is It Worth It to Seek a Second Opinion?
A medical error can lead to serious consequences. If a doctor misdiagnoses your symptoms, your illness or injury can worsen and lead to potentially life-threatening complications. If you do not receive the correct treatment for your condition or take the wrong medication, you can sustain severe injuries. Seeking a second opinion from another medical provider can help you avoid these complications before it is too late.
If you notice any of the following signs, you should seek a second medical opinion.
- Your doctor does not provide a clear diagnosis.
- Your doctor recommends a risky or experimental treatment that could be dangerous.
- Your symptoms are not responding to your current treatment.
- You do not feel confident or secure in the advice of your medical provider.
- You suspect that your doctor committed an act of medical malpractice.
What to Do If You Suspect Medical Malpractice
If you believe your doctor committed an act of medical malpractice, you could hold him or her accountable in a lawsuit. However, you will need to show that the doctor’s actions deviated from what another doctor would have done under the same circumstances—which a second medical opinion can help you establish.
Missouri law also requires you to submit an Affidavit of Qualified Health Care Provider when filing a medical malpractice lawsuit, which is an official document that proves that the at-fault party’s actions violated the accepted standard of care. The doctor who provides the second medical opinion may also provide testimony about how the initial diagnosis or treatment was incorrect.
If you believe that your doctor committed an act of medical malpractice, it is important to seek a second medical opinion as soon as possible. In addition, you should collect all of your medical records related to your condition and treatments. Once you gather this information, contact a Kansas City medical malpractice lawyer.
An attorney can help you establish that the at-fault medical provider committed an act of malpractice. If the second doctor is unable to submit an affidavit on your behalf, your lawyer can contact another expert witness who can testify in your case. Your attorney can also help you calculate the compensatory damages you qualify for, gather evidence to prove your claim, and handle all conversations with the at-fault doctor and his or her lawyer. As soon as possible following your diagnosis, contact an attorney to discuss your legal options.