There are not so many people you trust as much as your healthcare providers, which is what makes medical malpractice so scary. They are trained to provide you with the best medical and health services. Therefore, you trust them with the care of your body and, sometimes, mind.
Unfortunately, medical negligence happens, which questions the level of trust given to healthcare providers. There are guidelines that control how they make decisions about the care of patients. Still, it becomes very traumatic if you get hurt by the decisions, actions, or inactions of the people who provide you with care.
Between 15,000 to 19,000 medical malpractice suits are filed annually in the United States. Also, over 100,000 deaths occur in the US annually from medical errors.
A study conducted in 2009 by the Massachusetts General Hospital Department of Medicine indicated that most doctors would face medical malpractice lawsuits during their careers. Medical negligence is also the third leading cause of death in America.
These statistics are alarming, no doubt. Although no one wishes to become a statistic, sometimes you can become a victim of a medical error. However, you can get compensated for medical malpractice if you work with an experienced attorney in Indianapolis. With the possibility of one out of three patients being a victim of medical error, you can’t afford to be too careful.
What Qualifies as Medical Malpractice?
Medical and healthcare providers and professionals are to provide a particular standard of care. Failure to do so could lead to harm or injury to patients. However, not all damage or injury experienced by patients get caused by medical professionals or healthcare providers.
Nevertheless, medical professionals and healthcare providers are liable if a patient comes to harm because a healthcare professional neglected or deviated from the standard quality of care expected in similar scenarios.
Based on the American Board of Professional Liability Attorneys (ABPLA) guideline, the following factors determine medical malpractice lawsuits:
The Standard of Care Was Violated
There are standards of care stipulated for medical professions. They are recognized and accepted as the standard for the treatment and care of patients in similar situations. Patients expect to get treated in a manner consistent with the standard. However, if it gets established that the measure was unmet, then the doctor might be liable for negligence.
The Negligence Led to an Injury or Harm
It is not enough to establish that a healthcare professional failed to provide standard care. The patient filing the medical malpractice suit needs to prove that they sustained injury or harm due to said negligence. If there is negligence and no damage or liability, there is no case, vice versa.
The Injury Led to Significant Damages
Medical malpractice suits are pretty expensive and follow a rigorous litigation process. Therefore, for a medical malpractice suit to be viable, there has to be significant damage. It makes no sense to pursue a case only to have the eventual recovery insignificant compared to litigation costs. Consequently, the injury must result in loss of income, disability, significant medical bills, pain, suffering, and prolonged hardship to qualify for damages.
What Are the Examples of Medical Malpractice?
Examples of medical malpractice include:
- Unnecessary or incorrect surgery
- Leaving objects inside patient’s body after a surgery
- Discharging too early
- Operating on the wrong site during surgery
- Inadequate or improper follow-up and aftercare
- Incorrect dosage or inappropriate medication
- Failure or inability to read symptoms accurately
- Failure to take comprehensive patient medical history or ignoring patient medical records.
- Not obtaining consent before carrying out a surgery
- Failure to inform a patient of any known risks for medication or surgery
How to File a Medical Malpractice Claim
If you consider filing a medical malpractice claim, you have to be prepared to jump through all the legal hoops. Therefore, you have to fulfill requirements like testimony from experts, evaluations, possible out-of-court settlements, or entire legal procedure.
- Speak to a medical malpractice attorney immediately. An experienced attorney will help you file your case before the Statute of Limitations deadline.
- You have to ensure that your lawsuit is in full compliance with the pre-lawsuit requirements. Failure to do so may stop the suit from proceeding.
- Obtain copies of your medical report and sign to allow your attorneys and that of the defendant to have access to them as well.
- Notify insurers and your healthcare provider. You can do this formally or informally. In some states, it is a legal prerequisite before proceeding to court.
Get Help Today!
Medical malpractice claims can be rigorous. If you or your family has decided to file for one, you need to get a board-certified medical malpractice attorney in your corner. Contact StewartPhelpsWood today.