People go to the doctor’s office or a healthcare facility for answers and help. When someone needs answers about a condition or symptoms they are suffering, the last thing they need is for someone to dismiss their concerns. But sadly, this is precisely what occurs in many offices and facilities throughout the country.
Patients enter these offices and facilities only to be told that what they are complaining of does not exist or is of no concern. Errors such as these can lead to the exacerbation of valid medical conditions, which can eventually lead to further injury, or even death in certain situations. The question is, can you sue for medical gaslighting?
What Is Medical Gaslighting?
Examples of medical gaslighting include when a doctor dismisses, downplays, or refuses to acknowledge a patient’s symptoms. It also occurs when the doctor attributes a patient’s symptoms to some psychological issue.
Medical gaslighting by doctors happens for a variety of reasons. Some doctors cannot admit that they do not know the answer to an injury, sickness, or symptom, so they downplay it or dismiss it. Another reason some medical professionals gaslight is because of implicit bias. Women and people of color tend to experience gaslighting on a far grander scale than others.
Regardless of the reason, there is no excuse for medical gaslighting. The stakes are simply too high. A gaslighting doctor could eventually cause the death of one or more patients.
Legal Grounds for Pursuing a Claim for Medical Gaslighting
Can you sue for medical gaslighting in Ohio? The legal grounds for medical gaslighting may be found in Ohio medical malpractice law. Medical professionals have a duty to behave as other reasonable professionals would in any given situation dealing with the treatment of a patient. Failure to do so can point to medical malpractice.
Regarding gaslighting, it is safe to say that no reasonable medical professional should engage in such a practice. Instead of gaslighting, a reasonable doctor would instead recognize the patient’s concerns and take reasonable steps to try to diagnose the condition responsible for the symptoms.
Hence, medical gaslighting can be viewed as a type of diagnosis issue, and failure to diagnose is a solid basis for a medical malpractice lawsuit. Keep in mind that under some circumstances, however, it may in fact be reasonable for a doctor or other medical professional to dismiss a patient’s concerns.
For example, if a known hypochondriac in perfect health goes to the doctor for a diagnosis, it may not be unreasonable to dismiss the patient's concerns and explore psychological reasons for the problems.
The Role of Medical Professionals and Standards of Care
Medical professionals must maintain all relevant standards of care when treating patients. These standards have been developed and altered over years of medical trial and practice and essentially embody the actions of a reasonable medical professional.
In other words, the standards of care are standards that all reasonable medical professionals would abide by. When a medical professional fails to maintain these standards of care, they may potentially be held liable for a whole host of damages, including economic, non-economic, and punitive damages.
How a Medical Malpractice Attorney Can Help
A medical malpractice attorney can help by first evaluating your claim during a free consultation. If they do not believe that you have a valid claim, they can tell you so that you don’t potentially pursue a futile case.
If the attorney believes that your gaslighting claim has merit and accepts your case, though, they will immediately set out to build a strong claim. Experience is essential at this juncture.
A seasoned medical malpractice attorney will know precisely how to proceed and will know how to avoid wasting time. They will also likely have an extensive network of medical professionals ready to consult with and testify on behalf of their clients’ symptoms.
As a client of a medical malpractice attorney, you will not have to worry about the ins and outs of building a medical malpractice case. Your attorney will handle everything for you but will also keep you up to date on the progress of your medical gaslighting case.
What Damages Are Available in Medical Malpractice Cases for Medical Gaslighting?
Available damages from a medical malpractice case based on medical gaslighting can include both economic and non-economic in Ohio. Depending on the circumstances, the economic losses you seek compensation for may be:
- Medical bills for the missed condition after it has become exacerbated
- Expenses related to a condition worsened by medical gaslighting
- Lost wages due to developing a condition dismissed by medical gaslighting
Non-economic damages might cover losses such as pain and suffering, loss of society, mental anguish, or other intangible losses.
How Much Do Medical Malpractice Lawyers Charge?
Medical malpractice lawyers charge a percentage of your compensation payout, typically between 30 and 40%. In cases where the attorney is unsuccessful, the client owes nothing. Additionally, clients are not required to give any money up front to start their case. Payment always comes at the end of the case.
How Long Do Medical Malpractice Cases Typically Take to Resolve?
The length of time it takes to resolve a medical malpractice case depends on the specific facts of each case. Cases in which liability is clear are typically settled faster than cases where liability may not be so straightforward. Also, if a trial is necessary, the case will take much longer than cases resolved through settlement.
When The Moore Law Firm represents you, you can expect our team of medical malpractice lawyers to do everything in their power to resolve your case in as timely a manner as possible.
Speak With an Experienced Medical Malpractice Lawyer Today
Medical professionals do not get to dismiss your concerns and symptoms. If you have experienced the signs of medical gaslighting and suffered harm as a result, turn to the seasoned team at The Moore Law Firm. We have a long legacy of effectively pursuing justice on behalf of our clients.
Contact us to schedule a consultation with a skilled Cincinnati medical malpractice attorney today.