According to the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), the third leading cause of death in the United States is medical negligence, right behind heart disease and cancer. In 2012, more than $3 billion was spent in medical malpractice payouts, meaning that there is an average of one payout every 43 minutes. It is estimated that approximately 200,000 patients are killed each year as a result of medical errors.
Yet, there are only 15% medical malpractice claims among the personal injury lawsuits that are filed annually. Also, over 80% injured patients or survivors who file medical malpractice lawsuits do not get any payment whatsoever.
Medical malpractice – legal definition
Medical malpractice is said to have taken place when a doctor or any other medical provider deviates from the recognized "standard of care" in a patient’s treatment. The definition of this phrase is simply what a reasonably competent healthcare provider would or would not have done under the same circumstances. It essentially boils down to whether there was negligence on the part of the provider.
How is it determined if someone is a medical negligence victim?
A malpractice claim exists if a patient is injury or harmed by a medical provider’s negligence. However, a bad medical outcome is not always proof of medical negligence. Also, health-care providers will at times inform a patient that previous health-care provider has given negligent medical care to the person and, presumably in an attempt to be completely honest, will on occasion tell a patient that they, themselves, have made a mistake.
What should you do if you believe that you are a victim of medical negligence? Is there a statute of limitations?
The first step should be contacting an experienced malpractice attorney. The attorney should conduct a thorough review of the case details to determine whether the case is actionable, including securing relevant medical records and interviewing the patient, family members and friends, among others.
Deadlines by which a lawsuit must be filed or be permanently barred, known as statutes of limitation, vary from state to state. The procedural requirements that you need to meet before a medical malpractice lawsuit is filed also differ depending on the state. It is best to contact an attorney licensed in the state where the alleged malpractice occurred.
What can patients do to lower their chances of experiencing medical malpractice?
Without a doubt, the best step is to be proactive about medical care. It is important for patients to conduct research to better understand their health condition, and they should also document their symptoms. Healthcare providers should be asked a series of questions that the patients feel are important, and demand full and complete answers.
Why are a lot of legitimate medical malpractice claims unexplored?
There are numerous reasons why patients press the button not to pursue valid medical-malpractice claims. A few of them are concerned about other doctors learning of their cases and that they will be refused treatment due to this. Others incorrectly fear that the money spent on medical care will increase as a result of their case. And valid claims are not pursued by others because of the perceived personal and financial costs that are associated with litigation.
The Best Law Firm in the Big Apple
If you or a loved one have been injured or harmed as a result of negligent medical care, you should immediately seek the expertise a medical malpractice attorney at Rosenberg, Minc, Falloff, & Wolff of RMFW Law at 212 697 9280.
We have won millions of dollars for past clients. Give us a call if you want to be on this game winning list. We know how to win cases. We have been doing this for years.