6 Things You May Not Know about Medical Malpractice
It’s important to trust your healthcare provider, but as much as you may want to believe they are infallible, the unsettling truth is that mistakes are caused by medical negligence and carelessness every single day. If this is news to you, then there may be a lot about Medical Malpractice that you’re not aware of. The more you know, the better you can protect yourself.
Medical Malpractice occurs when a healthcare provider doesn’t follow the recognized “standard of care” for a patient. In other words, they fail to do what a knowledgeable, reasonable care provider should do in any given situation. So, here’s what you need to know about Medical Malpractice to make sure you’re getting the care you need as a patient and the protection you deserve as a victim.
How Common Medical Malpractice Really Is
Medical Malpractice is one of the leading killers of Americans in the US, coming in only behind heart disease and cancer. According to the Journal of Patient Safety, mistakes and negligence in hospitals cause 200,000-400,000 patient deaths each year.
Surgery-Related Errors are the Most Common
You may not be too surprised to hear that surgery is the most common place of error, but the alarming fact is that these errors include unthinkable mistakes like performing surgery on the wrong part of the body, using contaminated devices and instruments, and even surgeries that don’t even need to be performed in the first place.
How Few People Actually File Medical Malpractice Claims
Despite how common Medical Malpractice has been, there aren’t nearly the equivalent number of claims being filed as a result. With just around 85,000 claims being made each year and malpractice-related injuries at over 1 million, many people are unaware of that they’re even a victim at all. Others are under the false impression that their doctor will refuse to treat them in the future or that their medical costs will increase as a result. Understanding all your rights while filing a claim is an important step in getting the compensation you deserve.
Ways to Avoid a Medical Malpractice
To lessen the likelihood that you’ll experience a Medical Malpractice, it’s essential to be proactive. That means researching your health condition, documenting symptoms and coming up with a list of questions for your healthcare provider. You should also always listen to your body. If something doesn’t feel right, you should speak up. It’s important to trust your healthcare provider, but you also shouldn’t feel intimidated to ask questions and address your concerns.
How to Determine If You’re a Victim
If you’re not sure if negligence was to blame for your medical pain and suffering, ask yourself the following questions:
- Was there any delay in my diagnosis?
- Was my condition misdiagnosed?
- Did my doctor tell me about all known medical risks?
- Did my doctor provide the right care for me?
- Was a mistake made during my treatment or procedure?
What You’re Supposed to Do If You’re a Victim
First and foremost, in order to take care of yourself, you need to get medical care immediately. If you and your doctor aren’t seeing eye to eye on something, get a second opinion. Next, you want to be sure to gather all information and timelines of visits, discharges, prescriptions and any communication that occurred so you don’t lose track of any details. Contact an attorney as soon as possible, even if you’re still receiving care. Our experienced Malpractice attorneys will visit you in the hospital or at home to review all your information and help you take the next steps.
If you think you may be a victim of Medical Malpractice, it’s important to act quickly. While many states differ in their statutes of limitations (or the period in which you have to file a claim), Pennsylvania allows claims to be filed within 2 years of the error. For more information you may not know about Medical Malpractices and how to protect yourself and your case, contact us today.
Goodman, J. C. (2016, September 10). Protecting Patient Safety Without Malpractice Law. Retrieved August 10, 2018, from https://www.forbes.com/sites/johngoodman/2016/09/06/protecting-patient-safety-without-malpractice-law/#7e4f64847951
Kavanagh, K. T., Saman, D. M., Bartel, R., & Westerman, K. (2017, March). Estimating Hospital-Related Deaths Due to Medical Error: A … : Journal of Patient Safety. Retrieved August 10, 2018, from https://journals.lww.com/journalpatientsafety/Fulltext/2017/03000/Estimating_Hospital_Related_Deaths_Due_to_Medical.1.aspx