Medical emergencies and healthcare issues are stressful even under the best circumstances. They can become unbearable when faced with inadequate or inappropriate medical care.
Medical negligence is the third leading cause of death in the U.S., right behind heart disease and cancer, according to the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA). The journal reports that 225,000 people die every year as a result of medical malpractice. Compare that to the approximately 37,000 deaths caused by road crashes a year.
Medical malpractice should not be ignored. It is important to take the proper steps and expose those guilty of medical malpractice, and to protect current and potential victims.
What is Medical Malpractice?
Medical malpractice occurs when health care professionals or providers give treatment to a patient that is considered substandard, and which causes harm, injury or death. Simply put, malpractice is essentially medical negligence.
It is important to know that simply making a mistake or a poor outcome does not necessarily make a doctor or healthcare provider negligent.
Common examples of medical malpractice include:
- misdiagnosis or delayed diagnosis
- childbirth injuries (ex: failure to diagnose birth defects, failure to respond to fetal distress during delivery)
- medication errors (ex: prescribing the wrong medication, administering an incorrect dosage)/li>
- anesthesia errors (ex: not monitoring vital signs)/li>
- surgical errors (ex: puncturing an organ)/li>
Are You a Victim of Medical Malpractice?
The New England Journal of Medicine published an study of 1,452 malpractice cases from around the U.s., in 2006. The analysis showed that 97% of cases involved a medical injury, and 66% involved mistakes caused by health care professionals.
If you believe you or a family member has suffered from medical malpractice contact a medical malpractice lawyer immediately. They will be able to help determine if you have an actual case and what the proper steps are to file an official complaint.
Working with an attorney for medical malpractice cases helps ensure your claim is taken seriously by the offending healthcare provider. The medical malpractice lawyer will conduct an initial investigation into the patient’s claim. If there is sound evidence that proves a medical professional or provider was in fact negligent and responsible for causing harm or injury to the patient, then a lawsuit may be filed.
Following the initial investigation and filing of the lawsuit, both sides will start gathering their own information: reports, charts, witness testimony, etc. Before going to trial, the healthcare provider may wish to negotiable and offer a settlement to prevent going to court. If the defense does not offer acceptable terms, the patient and their medical malpractice lawyer can proceed to take the case to trail. If successful, the patient may receive financial retribution, wrongful death settlements, and so on from the healthcare professional or provider.
If you believe that you are a victim of medical negligence, don’t be afraid to take a stand. Contact an attorney at law that specializes in medical malpractice or, if applicable, wrongful death cases. Don’t simply accept negligent medical care.