Being a doctor or a physician entails occupying an elevated level of society. Once someone learns someone else is a doctor there is an amount of respect exchanged and in the air. However, the fact remains that medical professionals are hardly perfect and are just as susceptible to error or fault as any other professional.
Just like when a mechanic has an off day and fails to follow proper protocol in order to fix a vehicle, the same can happen to a medical professional operating on a human being. Medical negligence and medical malpractice are both serious matters that generally call for an experienced medical malpractice attorney. Below, we go over a few aspects of medical malpractice and talk about its prevalence in the United States, not to mention what an individual can do if they are on the receiving end of medical malpractice.
Defining Medical Malpractice
Medical malpractice is categorized as an instance where a medical or health care service provider or professional deviates from the standards characteristic of their profession. This can either be through an act of negligence or from an act of omission. Medical malpractice is normally the result of some sort of medical error at some point in the diagnosis, medication dosage/application, treatment, health management, or even aftercare process.
For a medical malpractice lawsuit to be legitimate, there has to be a few relevant aspects going on with the patient, which include:
- Standard of Care — A healthcare professional is required to provide a level of care to each and every patient. When a doctor or healthcare professional deviates from this standard, a patient may have a case.
- An Injury Has Resulted from Negligence — Even if a patient feels that negligence was involved in their treatment, an injury must occur or there can be no claim.
- Damaging Consequences — An injury experienced from an event of medical malpractice must have lasting damaging consequences.
Damage experienced from medical malpractice might entail pain and suffering, hardship, loss of income, and/or disability.
Malpractice By the Numbers
According to Hofstra University based on research conducted by the Medical Scribe Journal, there are over 17,000 medical malpractice lawsuits that are filed each year in the United States. An average doctor in America is likely to have a medical malpractice lawsuit filed against them on at least one occasion every seven years.
Whether you have experienced lack of proper follow up after treatment, premature discharge, bedsores, incorrect surgery, misdiagnosis, lack of appropriate testing, or even debris left after surgery, it might be time to talk to a medical malpractice attorney to see what your options are.
Choosing the Right Medical Malpractice Attorney
When it comes to medical malpractice law, things can get very complicated very quickly, so it’s important to find the right medical malpractice attorney to ensure that justice is served. Choose an individual with a lot of experience and with a great reputation in your community. Feel free to call around and speak with candidates and make sure to take a look at their reviews.
Talk to friends, talk to your insurance provider, talk to other doctors (obviously not the one who committed malpractice, of course) — the more input you can get the better when making your decision.
Remember that a good medical malpractice attorney will be very busy, so be patient and don’t get discouraged if you can’t get a face-to-face right away. Once you find the right representation, you will be on your way to righting the wrongs you have experienced.
Although medical professionals deserve our respect for doing the work that few other people are qualified to do, they are still human and make mistakes. When those mistakes arise, it’s up to the patient in question to pursue their legal options, and oftentimes that entails putting the matter in the hands of a medical malpractice attorney.