A poor bedside manner is a rampant problem in this country. But when does a bad bedside manner crosses the boundaries of acceptable behavior and becomes medical malpractice?
After all, many patients mistake a poor bedside manner for medical malpractice while others fail to recognize clear signs of medical malpractice when their medical professional is rude, unsympathetic, inattentive to the patient’s needs, does not listen to the patient, fails to treat the patient with respect, and/or shows a complete disregard for the patient’s fears. Basically, a doctor with a terrible bedside manner is the opposite of a caring and compassionate doctor.
So when your healthcare provider treats you badly, is it a bad bedside manner or medical malpractice? We invited our California medical malpractice attorney to help you make that determination.
It is true that a bad bedside manner can lead to a medical malpractice lawsuit, as it is not uncommon for doctors with a poor bedside manner to bully their patients or coerce them into making medical decisions to put more bucks into their own pockets. When a doctor engages in unethical or unprofessional conduct, you may be able to sue him or her for medical malpractice if you can prove that you suffered harm.
But it is not that simple. While you deserve to be treated with respect and you do have a right to file a medical malpractice suit when the healthcare provider’s bad bedside manner causes you harm or aggravates your medical condition, in no way does it mean that you can sue doctors just because you did not like how they looked at you or you did not like the tone of their voice during your communication.
“There’s a difference between a doctor who is simply rude and a doctor who commits medical malpractice,” says our experienced medical malpractice lawyer in California from Mancini & Associates. A doctor who refuses to shake your hand is simply rude, while a doctor who refuses to listen to your symptoms, and, in turn, misdiagnoses your medical condition may be sued for medical malpractice.
A doctor who looks bored every time you speak to him or she is simply rude, while a doctor who coerces you into a medical treatment you did not agree with, and, as a result, this causes or worsens your medical condition may be sued for medical malpractice.
If a bad bedside manner on the part of your physician, doctor, surgeon, or other medical professional caused you harm, filing a medical malpractice claim is usually the best legal recourse to hold that healthcare provider responsible for his/her negligent act or omission to act.
If you choose to file a medical malpractice claim citing “a bad bedside manner” as legal grounds for your claim, be prepared to present evidence that your doctor’s actions or lack of action amounts to medical malpractice and it caused you harm. The burden of proof will be on you, while the doctor with a terrible bedside manner will do whatever he or she can to defend himself/herself by disputing your claim.
If the doctor’s bad bedside manner caused you to harm and you had to pay for medical treatment to relieve the symptoms of or treat the resulting injury or medical condition, you may be entitled to seek reimbursement for your medical expenses and other resulting damages and losses. It is best to consult with a California medical malpractice attorney prior to filing a claim and suing your doctor for a poor bedside manner.