Contact an experienced medical malpractice lawyer as soon as you suspect something went wrong with your medical care.
A recent study by researchers at Johns Hopkins Medicine found medical errors to be the third leading cause of death in the United States. According to medical malpractice insurance giant Deitrich Healthcare, medical malpractice payouts totaled $3.9 billion in 2014.
Wondering whether you have been the victim of medical malpractice? Take this quiz to learn more.
Q: Did you have a medical outcome that was not anticipated or expected?
If you, or someone you love, has suffered an unintended medical result, you may have a claim for medical malpractice. An “unintended medical result” is an outcome different from the one you and your family expected. Some examples are:
- A child born with a brain injury after an otherwise uncomplicated pregnancy
- Back surgery that results in paralysis
- A hospital admission that results in a pulmonary embolism
- An emergency room visit for chest pain that results in discharge and a heart attack a few days later
- An undiagnosed cancer
- A colonoscopy that results in a ruptured intestine
- Being given the wrong medication
Q: Can you establish a doctor-patient relationship?
This may seem obvious, but the plaintiff must be able to establish that the physician defendant was hired to perform a medical procedure. Hospital records are the easiest method to prove the doctor-patient relationship.
Q: What was the appropriate medical standard of care and did the medical provider fall short of that standard?
The courts in most states require a qualified medical expert to answer this question. A medical expert will determine the skill and attention your medical provider should have demonstrated while taking care of you. If the medical expert believes your medical provider fell short of the standard expectations of care and this failure caused you harm, you may have a case. Finding the right medical expert to evaluate your case is very difficult to do by yourself. Experienced medical malpractice lawyers will connect you with the right medical expert to help make your case.
Q: When did the medical procedure in question occur?
Most States have a Statute of Limitations that restricts how long a plaintiff can wait to file a claim. These time limits vary from state to state, but are generally two or three years from the time of the medical procedure that caused the harm. An experienced medical malpractice attorney can advise you on the time limits for your state.
It is always best to contact an experienced medical malpractice lawyer as soon as you suspect something went wrong with your medical care.
Q: Was the doctor negligent?
An unhappy patient does not translate into malpractice. Instead, negligence is shown by proving that the physician caused harm that a similarly trained physician would not have caused. A medical expert can help prove that the physician fell short of standard medical care, misdiagnosed the situation, chose the incorrect form of treatment, or incorrectly administered the chosen treatment.
Q: Did the physician and staff thoroughly explain all known health risks?
Health care providers have a duty to thoroughly inform you of all known risks and side effects of any procedure or medical therapy. If you were:
- Misinformed about your care plan
- Injured as a result of the care you chose; and
- Can show that the correct information would have caused you to have made a different choice about your care, you may be entitled to compensation
Q: Did your condition worsen as a result of malpractice?
Many plaintiffs suing for medical malpractice were already ill when they sought medical care. Therefore, it must be shown that the doctor’s mistake specifically caused additional physical pain, lost work time, medical costs, or mental anguish over and above what would have been caused by the medical condition alone.
The lawyers at nearly any Personal Injury Law Firm should have decades of experience with medical negligence cases.
If you believe you have been the victim of medical malpractice, you should contact an experienced medical malpractice lawyer immediately.
In a recent study done by Johns Hopkins Medicine researchers determined that medical malpractice is not only in the top five leading causes of death in the United States, but sits at number three. Medical malpractice has become so commonplace that death and injury are prevalent in the medical world and the need for individuals to find a wrongful death lawyer has drastically risen. A wrongful death lawyer can help you settle a medical malpractice suite but they cannot help you prevent one.
In the same study performed by Johns Hopkins Medicine it was reported that this year alone approximately 250,000 Americans will die due to medical malpractice. This means individuals from Salt Lake City to the Great Lakes are at risk.
Medical malpractice includes anything from medication mix-ups, fatal drug interactions and surgical procedures that go wrong for unnamed reasons.
How Does This Happen?
In the hectic day of a doctor it is no wonder that things have the potential to slip through the cracks. Though doctors mean no harm and do not injure patients with malice, accidents and mistakes do happen. In these cases a wrongful death or malpractice lawyer would be able to help families and patients get restitution.
Many times these mistakes such as a drug dose mix-up or inter-staff miscommunication are small and go on ignored for far too long, thus resulting in injury or death. Misdiagnosis often also plays a large part in medical injury and death.
For these reasons it is nearly necessary to have information on a wrongful death or malpractice lawyer on hand.
What Can You Do?
As uncomfortable as it may be at times, making a fuss about you or a loved one’s medical care has the potential to save lives. You know your body better than anyone else and if something feels wrong keep fighting until you find a medical professional who will listen. Your intuition could save you.
Another way to avoid ending up needing a wrongful death lawyer is to ask questions and stay informed. If you are traveling to see a doctor in Salt Lake City make sure you ask as many questions as you need to in order to feel informed and educated on the health matters. Perhaps you are traveling to Salt Lake City with a spouse. Allow them the same courtesy of asking as many questions as needed.
During your stay in Salt Lake City as your medical concerns begin to be resolved make sure you continue to be informed and ask questions. Often a simple inquiry will remind the staff that they have already administered a certain medicine or treatment and disaster can be avoided.
Maddison Driggs is a legal writer for Fusion 360, an SEO and content marketing agency. Information provided by Robert J Debry. Follow on Twitter.