Medical mistakes and errors cause 10% of deaths in the United States. In 2016, John Hopkins Hospital revealed the results of a comprehensive study on medical errors, which approximated that the mistakes led to 250,000 deaths annually. This study ranks medical malpractice as the leading cause of death in the US, coming third only after heart diseases and cancer.
A more significant percentage of the 250,000 deaths would be classified as medical malpractice. However, only a small percentage of wrongful death cases are filed each year. According to a National Practitioner Database report, only 3,046 medical malpractice compensations for wrongful death lawsuits were made in 2013.
In another medical error survey, 41% of individuals in America believed they might have been subject to one form of medical malpractice or another in the past. Surgical error, diagnostic error, and prescription errors were the top most commonly reported types of errors in the study. Of those people in the survey, 73% revealed that they sustained an injury due to the error. Going by this data, it is evident that potentially millions of people are hurt by medical negligence each year.
So, if you happen to be a victim of medical malpractice, here are a few things that you need to know.
Determining medical negligence
You’d have a valid claim if the caregiver’s negligence or careless actions led to your damages or injuries. But you should note that not all adverse outcomes amount to medical negligence. Again, medical malpractice claims have a higher chance of failure and can be pretty expensive, time-consuming, and stressful. Top medical malpractice will usually only take on cases whose injuries and damages are substantial.
Suing the doctor or the hospital
It can be hard to establish whom to sue for the damages when the negligence happens in a healthcare facility. However, who you will sue will depend on a range of factors, including the person who was liable for the event that led to your injury; and whether he or she is an independent contractor or an employee of the hospital. Your lawyer will look into facts and situations surrounding your case to determine the responsible party.
You need a seasoned malpractice lawyer
If you suspect to have been subjected to negligent care, you should contact a Miami medical malpractice attorney for help. The lawyer will look into the case details and determine whether you have a valid claim. He will then advise you on the best course of legal action, and even represent you throughout the process. The lawyer will also ensure you do not miss out on the statute of limitations.
You can lower the chances of medical malpractice occurring
Doctors are just humans and can make mistakes here and there. But you can lessen this likelihood of errors happening by being proactive about your treatment. For instance, instead of depending on the doctor for everything, you can spare some time to research and understand your condition and also document your signs and symptoms beforehand. Being your own advocate can go a long way in minimizing errors and mistakes.