Failure To Treat

Your doctor’s failure to provide proper care and treatment may entitle you to compensation for your losses

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Modern medicine offers hope for people with serious illnesses or injuries. With proper and timely treatment, doctors can fix many of the problems that ail us, allowing us to get better and return to our lives.

But all of the scientific and medical advancements in the world won’t help you if a doctor or other medical professional doesn’t take the steps needed to treat your condition. A physician’s failure to follow the appropriate standard of care in treating an illness or injury can allow a bad condition to become even worse, leading to lifelong disability or death. If you do go on to get the care you should have initially received, the avoidable delay can make your recovery much more difficult, painful, and expensive than it should have been or even worse, leave you permanently compromised or disabled.

Failure to treat is one of the most common forms of medical malpractice, inflicting unnecessary pain and hardship on thousands of patients and their families every year. If you are one of those patients, or if someone you love passed away because of a doctor’s negligent failure to treat an illness or health condition, you deserve compensation for the needless losses you’ve incurred.

If you didn’t get the medical treatment you needed, get the legal help you deserve

At Berman & Simmons, Maine’s premier medical malpractice and personal injury law firm, we are committed to getting the maximum amount of compensation available for medical malpractice victims in Maine and throughout New England, including those suffering because of a doctor’s breach of the obligation to properly treat his or her patients in a timely manner.

These cases are complicated and require lawyers who have the knowledge and resources to uncover and prove malpractice. Since doctors, hospitals, and their insurers will do everything they can to defeat your claim and avoid responsibility for their negligence, you need attorneys who will not stop until you get the compensation you deserve. We have provided this kind of skilled and tenacious representation for over 100 years, improving the lives of countless medical malpractice and personal injury victims just like you.

Negligence that results in the “failure to treat” can come in many forms

Several different acts or omissions by a doctor or other healthcare provider can form the basis of a medical malpractice claim for failure to treat, including:

  • Failure to treat a patient because of a lack of insurance.
  • Failure to treat an emergency condition, such as heart attack or stroke.
  • Failure to advise a patient about treatment options.
  • Failure to refer a patient to a specialist.
  • Failure to order necessary diagnostic tests, or failure to correctly interpret test results.
  • Failure to follow-up on lab, xray or other diagnostic test results.

Unmatched resources and experience in medical malpractice cases

Berman & Simmons’ lawyers are widely acknowledged as the best personal injury lawyers in Maine. But for us, that it is not enough. With our unique resources and talent, we strive to be among the very best in the country.

We have obtained several of the largest medical malpractice jury verdicts and settlements in Maine, recovering over $1.45 billion in compensation for victims and their families. This record of success is a testament to the talents of our attorneys and the commitment of our firm to providing excellence in medical malpractice representation.

No other medical malpractice firm in Maine can match the depth of our experience and the breadth of resources we use to bring these complex cases to successful conclusions. We pride ourselves on taking on―and winning― cases that other firms turn down.

Call us for your free medical malpractice consultation

Maine has strict statutes of limitations for filing medical malpractice complaints, so it’s critical to consult with us as soon as possible if you think your physician failed to treat you properly. Our initial consultations are free, so even if another firm has told you that you don’t have a valid claim, there is no reason not to call us for a second opinion.

Please contact Berman & Simmons today at (207)784-3576 to arrange for your free consultation. You pay nothing unless we obtain compensation for you by settlement or jury verdict.

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  • What is failure to treat?

    Failure to treat can occur in a variety of circumstances. It essentially involves a healthcare professional neglecting to properly diagnose a medical condition or injury, causing a delay in essential care. Often, the patient’s condition worsens due to this delay, and new conditions may develop.

  • Can you sue for failure to treat?

    To sue for failure to treat, the elements of a medical malpractice claim must be met, including duty, breach, causation, and damages.

    A healthcare professional has a duty to you beginning the moment a provider/patient relationship is formed. Once this relationship is created, the healthcare provider is required to conform their care to the leading standards of the medical profession. This means that if it is a standard medical practice to respond to a certain set of symptoms with a particular diagnostic test, a physician’s failure to act accordingly can give rise to liability. 

    However, even if the provider fails to conform their care to medical standards, the patient still must show they were injured. Generally, a similarly credentialed medical provider’s expert testimony will be required to verify that your treating provider is responsible for the new or worsening conditions that resulted.

  • How can you sue a hospital for poor care?

    Medical malpractice is the legal cause of action for improper care that rises to the level of negligence. Failure to treat is one form of medical malpractice, but others include misdiagnosis, prescription drug errors, surgical or procedural errors, and childbirth injuries.

    Medical malpractice can also include general medical negligence. All hospital employees, including nursing staff and administrative workers, are expected to conform their conduct to the leading medical standards. For example, it is standard practice to place a patient in the ICU under certain conditions. If a person meets the criteria, but hospital staff fails to provide them with intensive care, the parties responsible for making the call can be held liable. 

    As with failure to treat, all successful medical malpractice claims require proof of duty, breach, causation, and damages. 

  • Can an emergency room turn you away?

    It depends. Federal law requires most hospitals to provide emergency services, regardless of whether a patient is insured. Generally, emergency staff is only required to stabilize a patient in these conditions.

    However, this law is limited to facilities that receive Medicare payments from the federal government. Private hospitals often have no requirement to treat you even if you’re suffering an emergency.

  • Can you be denied medical treatment?

    Yes. You can be denied non-emergency medical treatment. You can also be denied treatment at a doctor’s office or medical facility that does not have an emergency department. In addition, private hospitals that do not receive Medicare payments can refuse to treat you.

  • What do you do when a medical provider refuses to treat you?

    Even if your emergency isn’t obvious, you are entitled to be screened for any emergency health conditions if you go to a public hospital. If hospital staff refuse to provide a screening, tell them they are in violation of the Emergency Medical Treatment and Active Labor Act (EMTLA). If they still refuse to treat you, visit another public emergency room.

    The delay in medical care caused by visiting another hospital may cause new or worsening medical conditions. If this occurs, contact a medical malpractice attorney to discuss your rights.