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Why seek a second opinion after medical malpractice occurs?

On Behalf of | Jan 23, 2024 | Medical Malpractice

It is natural, and can even be beneficial, to trust one’s physician. A medical professional providing someone’s care has a better understanding of the human body than the average person. They have access to testing equipment and treatment options that people cannot access without professional intervention.

People often put their lives in the hands of the doctors overseeing their care, and sometimes they end up paying a steep price for that trust. The unfortunate reality is that doctors can and do make decisions that have negative implications for their patients. When a doctor is negligent or when they do not adhere to current professional standards, their actions or lack thereof might constitute medical malpractice.

When should people seek out a second opinion if they suspect malpractice?

Before consenting to treatment

If someone believes that they have experienced a diagnostic error and that their physician has the wrong idea about their treatment, that might be the best opportunity to seek out a second opinion. Patients who undergo a secondary evaluation with a different medical professional have a better chance of obtaining an accurate diagnosis and securing the right type of treatment given their conditions.

Anyone who thinks a doctor may have made a mistake could potentially protect themselves by proactively reaching out to a different medical professional to double-check the determination of the doctor who initially diagnosed them.

After negative consequences

Unfortunately, some people don’t realize that their doctor made a mistake until after they failed to respond to treatment or the treatment they undergo harms them. Someone who suspects that they may have experienced medical malpractice might want to seek out a second opinion from a physician not affiliated with the first.

Another doctor can discuss someone’s diagnosis and symptoms. They could provide insight into what the current standard in the profession is for addressing those issues. They could also potentially identify mistakes and failures in the other physician’s handling of the case.

Provided that other medical professionals recognize that a professional has not conformed to best practices and that the failure by a physician caused medical harm with consequences for a patient, those affected by medical malpractice may have grounds for a lawsuit. For the above reasons and more, obtaining a second opinion is often a key component of pursuing a successful medical malpractice lawsuit.