According to the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), the third leading cause of death in the United States is none other than medical negligence. It is just right behind cancer and heart disease. Believe it or not, at least $3 billion U.S. dollars are being spent in payouts. It is really alarming.
Medical negligence basically involves a medical error; hence the term. This could be anything from diagnosis to health management to treatment to medication dosage to aftercare. This is why a medical malpractice law is put in place to help patients recover compensation from any harm that could result from sub-standard treatment.
More importantly, there are things that you can do to avoid becoming a victim of this very unfortunate situation.
Determining a Medical Malpractice
A malpractice claim will only exist if and only if a provider’s negligence results in damages or injuries to a patient. However, just because you experience a bad outcome does not mean it is already subject to medical negligence. Likewise, healthcare providers are responsible for informing patients that the latter received a medical error from a previous provider.
It is worth noting, however, that the prosecution of medical malpractice cases can be stressful and time-consuming, let alone expensive. Statistics say that medical errors are responsible for the death of around 200,000 patients in the U.S. each year, but as far as personal injury lawsuits are concerned, only 15% are filed. Not just that, 80% of those lawsuits end with no payment whatsoever.
This brings us to the next topic.
Hiring a Medical Practice Attorney
Contacting a seasoned and professional malpractice attorney should always be your first step. This person is capable of conducting a thorough review of the case details, which could include anything from interviews with patients, friends, and family members to securing pertinent medical records. Doing so will allow the attorney to assess whether the case should be deemed is actionable.
Keep in mind that it can be quite difficult to either settle or negotiate the negligence in the courtroom, especially if there is no prior thorough investigation conducted into the issue. There is where an attorney can help. He knows and understands the type of information needed to be retrieved. Above all, he has concrete knowledge about how the case should proceed. Meaning, this legal professional knows where to start investigating your claim and how to get the information needed in order to acquire leverage. Otherwise, you will not be able to bolster the case. Experienced attorneys also understand when there is a need to hire experts who can prove what happened.
Preventing The Possibility
There is no doubt that being proactive about medical care is important. Hence, you must perform research in order to have more knowledge about your health condition. Also, you want to document this as well as the symptoms you see. It is even imperative that you ask health-care providers a written list of questions that they think are important, and you must insist to have complete answers.
It is also critical to never let yourself be intimidated by the medical system. Do not just speak up; be the advocate of your own well-being, too! If you start to sense that something is wrong, speak up and/or ask your healthcare provider. While trusting your doctor or nurse is given, it is also significant for you to listen to your body and make use of common sense. It is also advantageous to have a friend or family member accompany you when visiting healthcare providers.
At the end of the day, medical malpractice can be avoided. You just have to be vigilant. Even more so, you need to have a go-to lawyer in case this unfortunate event happens. It is better to have one than nothing.