Have You Been Injured Due to Medical Malpractice?
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Medical malpractice occurs when a healthcare professional such as a doctor, nurse, surgeon, or medical facility, such as a clinic, hospital, or emergency room, does not exercise a proper standard of care, which results in the serious injury or death of a patient. Due to the extensive training that medical professionals receive and the fact that a patient’s health and life are dependent on the provider’s care, we hold these professionals to a high standard.
Common types of medical malpractice include doctor errors, bacterial infections, misdiagnosis, medical negligence, failure to diagnose, delay in diagnosis, and surgical errors such as operating on the wrong body part or leaving objects in the body after surgery. When any of these mistakes occur, the healthcare professional puts their patient at greater risk for further complications or even death. Prescribing the wrong medication or prescribing a medication incorrectly is another alarmingly common example of medical malpractice.
What are the Statistics on Medical Malpractice?
Medical malpractice is a common cause of injury around the world and in the United States. Medical malpractice occurs when the exercise of medical judgment is done negligently, causing injury or damage to the patient; this includes failing to provide a reasonable degree of skill and care to a patient. If a medical professional’s treatment fails to meet something called the “standard of care”, it qualifies as medical malpractice.
Let’s go over some important medical malpractice statistics:
- On average, 225,000 people die every year due to some form of medical malpractice (Johns Hopkins Medicine).
- Types of medical malpractice include incorrect dosages, surgical errors, misdiagnoses, delayed diagnoses, failure to treat, birth injuries, and medical product liability.
- Medical malpractice is the third most common cause of death in the United States (Johns Hopkins University).
Statistics have shown that on average up to 12,000 people die due to unnecessary surgery every year (Journal of the American Medical Association).
- Medication errors are the most common type of medical malpractice according to the Journal of the American
- Medical Association with on average 1.5 million people injured due to medication errors every year.
Who is Responsible for Medical Malpractice?
Medical malpractice mistakes can be made by any type of healthcare professional. Due to the sheer number and variety of different types of medical professionals involved in any one procedure, the litigation process for medical malpractice lawsuits is complex and often has many parties involved. Depending on the circumstances of the injury, several parties may be involved in your particular case. These may include:
- Individual providers: Healthcare professionals including anesthesiologists, cardiologists, dermatologist, gastroenterologist, gynecologist, neonatologist neurologists, neurosurgeons, nurses, obstetricians, oncologists, ophthalmologists, orthopedic surgeons, pediatricians, pharmacologists, pharmacists, physicians assistants, plastic surgeons, radiologists, urogynecologist, urologist, vascular surgeons, and more may be held liable for damages incurred as a result of medical malpractice.
- Hospitals. A hospital may be held liable due to its own negligence or the negligence of its employees. When a hospital hires medical staff, they are responsible for making sure they only hire applicants with sufficient training and experience. They are also required to ensure full-staffing and fair treatment of their staff to reduce the amount of exhaustion-related mistakes which might otherwise occur. To fail to do is negligent and can result in harm for their patients. Additionally, if a hospital refuses to admit or treat a patient based on race, color, religion, or another qualifying factor, the hospital could be liable for any damages which occur as a result.
- Health maintenance organizations. Health maintenance organizations (HMOs) are a kind of alternative to traditional health insurance which may offer a lower monthly premium and has its own specific network of medical providers. If an HMO is accused of including or retaining an unqualified healthcare professional in their network, they may be liable for medical malpractice which occurs as a result.
Do You Have a Claim for Medical Malpractice?
Depending on the nature of you or your family member’s injuries due to medical malpractice, your personal injury lawyer may identify possible claims for:
- Medical expenses. Common injuries resulting from medical malpractice may include: childbirth injuries; injuries due to incorrect dosage; injuries due to anesthesia errors; internal bleeding/organ punctures; paralysis; infections; other traumatic injuries; and, in the worst case scenario, death.
- Lost wages (or impairment of earning capacity) as a result of extended hospital stay-time, or, for the loved one of a medical malpractice victim, the necessity to temporarily or permanently extricate themselves from work in order to provide care.
- Lifecare expenses, such as life support or ongoing medical expenses for chronic injuries.
- Pain and suffering, for both emotional and physical distress.
- Wrongful death.
- Funeral expenses.
If you were injured by a medical professional’s mistake or if a loved one was killed due to medical malpractice, you need a personal injury attorney that understands the emotional and physical toll these errors can take. An experienced attorney will be aggressive in seeking the compensation that you deserve.