Can a Failure to Warn Lead to a Malpractice Case?

It can. Sometimes your treating doctor or some other medical professional may fail to adequately warn you of something. That “something” could involve a warning about a particular medication, medical procedure, or course of treatment. In some cases, this failure to warn may amount to medical malpractice, meaning you can bring a legal action to try and receive compensation for any injuries you experienced.

Failure to Warn

Doctors should warn patients of known risks before:

  • Prescribing medications,
  • Performing medical procedures, or
  • Beginning medical treatment.

If no warning is given, then you are not fully informed of everything related to your medical care. Further, it may be the case that you would not have consented to something if fully warned of its risks and impacts. If you would not have given your consent if you had known the risks, you could have a valid malpractice claim if you are injured.

Failure to Diagnose

You might also have a medical malpractice case if your doctor failed to diagnose something. This is especially true if:

  1. Your physician failed to diagnose your particular condition (or made a misdiagnosis), and
  2. The failure caused a delay in your treatment which led to a poorer outcome.

For example, consider the scenario where a woman undergoes a mammogram. The radiologist views the images and reports that everything is “normal.” After several years, the woman is diagnosed with late-stage cancer. It turns out that evidence of the cancer was visible during the woman’s original mammogram. Here, the radiologist could be the target of a medical malpractice claim.  

Proving Malpractice

You usually have to prove the following four elements in order to succeed in a medical malpractice case. These are:

  1. Your doctor owed you a professional duty of care,
  2. Your doctor breached that duty (for example, by failing to warn or properly diagnose),
  3. The breach resulted in you suffering an injury, and
  4. You suffered damages because of the breach.

As to the first element, note that a doctor normally owes you a duty of care while he/she is providing medical care or treatment. As to the second element, medical malpractice attorneys can typically prove a breach of a duty by relying on:

  • Medical notes and records,
  • Test results,
  • Prescriptions, and
  • Expert Testimony.

Contact Otorowski Morrow & Golden, PLLC

Please know that our firm is here to help if you suffered an injury because of a medical professional’s malpractice. Otorowski Morrow & Golden, PLLC provides free consultations to all our potential clients. The attorneys at our law firm also have over 120 years of combined experience representing injured parties in medical malpractice cases. They never back down to insurers and fight for their clients’ interests every step of the way. Do yourself a favor and contact them now for the quality legal representation you deserve.

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