It’s important to understand the elements of a valid medical malpractice case. The first is there was a doctor/patient relationship. In other words, the patient hires a medical professional to perform services. The fact the doctor may be fraudulently practicing medicine isn’t the patient’s fault unless he or she is aware that the individual isn’t authorized to practice.
The second element is that the doctor was negligent. Of course, the first indication of this would be someone administering medical treatment fraudulently and without a license, which is a more apparent form of negligence. This in itself could lead to criminal charges, even if the patient wasn’t injured. But when it results in physical harm, it could also allow injured patients to file a medical malpractice claim.
Let’s say an unlicensed dentist performs a procedure that causes the patient to develop a life-threatening oral infection, a cosmetic surgeon whose license was suspended botches a nose job, or a doctor who never obtained a license misdiagnoses the patient. These are just some examples of medical negligence for which a doctor – licensed or not – can be liable.
The final element of a medical malpractice claim is showing that because of the fraudulent doctor’s careless or reckless actions, it caused someone to suffer damages. These can be financial, physical and/or psychological.
The unauthorized practice of medicine is both unethical and illegal and a doctor can be held liable in a claim for a variety of reasons:
Sometimes the facility that allowed the doctor to practice can also be liable. A hospital or clinic could be negligent for allowing privileges to an unlicensed doctor. If the hospital didn’t know, it doesn’t necessarily negate its responsibility to make sure the individual practicing is properly licensed.
Medical malpractice cases in themselves can be very complicated. So when it’s discovered the doctor was fraudulently practicing, this can create bigger challenges. It’s important to consult with an attorney right away. The potential damages of such a claim could include the costs incurred; not only the treatment received under false pretenses but any medical care required for the resultant injuries. If the victim was unable to work for a period of time because of those injuries, the wages she was without may also be included.
Sometimes the harm suffered psychologically is even greater than the medical bills acquired and the loss of income because of missed time from work. This may be especially true when the injuries are disabling or disfiguring. Patients may seek damages related to pain and suffering, mental anguish and diminished quality of life.
Ryan, LLP helps Cleveland victims of medical malpractice pursue compensation that is fair and comprehensive to cover their damages. Call us at 877-864-9495 or fill out our contact form to set up your free consultation today!