Every medical malpractice case is unique, but there are some common factors anyone considering pursuing medical malpractice should be aware of.
Let’s look at eight of the most important things to know about medical malpractice.
What is Medical Malpractice?
Medical malpractice happens when a healthcare provider fails to provide the recognized “standard of care” in treating a patient. “Standard of care” is another way of saying, “what would a reasonable medical provider would have done (or not done) in similar circumstances?”
Medical malpractice essentially asks the question, was your healthcare provider negligent? If they were, and you experienced injuries or hardships, including financial, because of that negligence, you may have suffered medical malpractice.
Examples of Medical Errors That Can Qualify For Medical Malpractice
It’s important to know that medical malpractice can occur in a variety of forms. Some examples include:
- Unnecessary surgery
- Surgical errors or mistakes during surgery
- Incorrectly reading and interpreting lab results
- Medical misdiagnosis or failure to properly diagnose
- Incorrect medication or wrong medication dosage
- Failure to order appropriate testing based on patients symptoms
- Taking an inaccurate, incomplete family history, or failing to take a medical history at all
- Unnecessary surgery resulting in injury
- Performing surgery on the wrong body part
- Unnecessary pain and suffering following a surgical procedure
- Leaving a surgical instrument or other items inside a patient's body
- Performing surgery on the wrong patient
- Performing the wrong operation on a patient
- Infections that result from improperly sanitized medical equipment
- Failing to take appropriate action after receiving medical test results
Once you have figured out that your situation qualifies as medical malpractice, you may have some questions. Let’s discuss eight of the most important factors to consider about medical malpractice.
1. Why do some medical malpractice cases go unchecked?
Not all patients choose to pursue medical malpractice claims, even though their case is valid. This can happen for several reasons, including:
- Patients mistakenly fearing that pursuing a medical malpractice claim will result in more expensive medical care
- Patients worrying that healthcare providers will refuse to treat them once they learn about the medical malpractice claim
- Patients are afraid of the financial cost of litigation
2. What should you do if you think you've experienced medical malpractice?
If you or a loved one has been injured and feels it was because of medical malpractice, one of the best first steps is to get in touch with an experienced law firm specializing in medical malpractice.
Your attorney will carefully review all the details of your case and help you decide whether filing a claim is the best course of action for your situation. If you decide to file a medical malpractice claim, your attorney can help you present the facts of your case in the best possible light. They can also help find medical experts to testify on your behalf–a valuable asset to any medical malpractice claim.
By reaching out to a malpractice law firm early, you can protect yourself against time limits for filing a claim. These statutes of limitations are often permanent, meaning once the deadline for filing has passed, you are no longer legally able to pursue compensation.
3. How to protect yourself against medical malpractice
Taking a proactive approach to your medical care can help you protect yourself against medical malpractice. Do research before your medical appointment and try to get a general understanding of your health condition.
Write out a list of questions or other health concerns you may have before your doctor's appointment and ask your physician to provide answers. A written list helps prevent you from getting distracted. This can be especially important if you receive unsettling news.
Speaking up for yourself might feel intimidating, but if something doesn't feel right, or you think something might be wrong, it's important to advocate for your own health and wellbeing.
4. Is Medical Malpractice Rare?
A recent Johns Hopkins study found that medical errors claimed the lives of between 250,000 and 440,000 Americans annually, making medical errors the third-leading cause of death, with heart disease and cancer claiming the number one and number two positions.
5. Do All Medical Malpractice Claims Go To Trial?
No. Medical malpractice trials can be costly for many insurance companies, resulting in many insurance companies opting to settle with plaintiffs and avoid the added expenses of a lengthy trial by jury.
6. What Do I Do If I Don't Notice An Injury Right Away?
Medical malpractice isn't always obvious; sometimes, it can take days, weeks, or longer before adverse symptoms appear. In the case of a medical misdiagnosis, you may not realize the true cause of your symptoms until your condition is accurately diagnosed. In situations like these, it's important to reach out to a medical malpractice attorney as soon as you become aware.
7. What does "contingency basis" mean?
At Grover Lewis Johnson, we accept cases on a "contingency basis." This means that during your case, there's no need for you to worry about paying us. Our fee depends upon a successful settlement or a successful verdict in the case of a trial.
8. You didn't cause the Medical Malpractice.
It's not uncommon for some patients to feel like they contributed to the medical malpractice they experienced. While patients are responsible for being forthcoming about their health, including any underlying health conditions, you aren't the medical professional making (or not making) the decisions.
If you have experienced injury as a result of medical malpractice, it's important to speak with an experienced attorney specializing in medical malpractice. The right attorney will help you understand your rights regarding medical malpractice and what to expect during the entire process.
Medical malpractice lawsuits can be long and drawn-out. We put our time, energy, and expertise into our clients because we genuinely care about their well-being and medical malpractice claims.
We work with you to locate the right expert witnesses to assist your medical malpractice claim, evaluate medical records, and decide who is responsible for the damages you incurred.
Get in touch today for your free, no-obligation consultation. We're here to help you decide your best course of action to get the proper compensation you deserve.