When you receive medical treatment of any sort, you should follow your doctor’s orders. They are the medical expert who understands your condition and how to address it. This is especially true if you have a pending medical malpractice claim against another medical practitioner who caused your injury or worsened your illness.
In an injury claim, your chances of receiving a fair recovery amount may factor in your liability or fault. A jury may consider your liability for your injuries if you contribute to the accident that caused them. But you can also become liable or partially liable for the extent of your injuries if you refuse to follow your doctor’s orders--- this is called failing to mitigate damages, which may include actions a patient has taken against medical advice (AMA). In short, your medical malpractice may be affected because you didn’t follow your doctor’s instructions. However, this does not mean that a reasonably prudent patient should not be able to seek a secondary opinion, or question and clarify the medical treatment plan.
For example: If your doctor tells you to get plenty of bed rest, but you go to the gym and your injury worsens, then it could be said that your injury worsened as a direct result of your refusal to listen to your medical provider. Furthermore, it could be argued that you understood the risks of not following your doctor’s instructions but decided to not follow them all the same. This is known as “failing to mitigate damages” and is one of the most common types of defense tactics for insurance claims, including in medical malpractice cases.
When everything is said and considered, you should always make an honest effort to follow your doctor’s orders as closely as you can. You might be hesitant to listen to a doctor now that you have been injured by one, i.e., why you are filing a medical malpractice case in the first place.
Questions about medical malpractice cases in South Texas? Maloney Law Group, P.L.L.C. can help. Contact us today to talk with one of our attorneys during a consultation.