Causes of Medical Malpractice
A medical malpractice claim may be brought against a healthcare provider when his or her actions or inaction result in patient injury or death. There can be a number of contributing factors, which may make it difficult to tell if an injury was the result of medical malpractice. However, if you suspect you have suffered harm while under the care of a medical professional, it is a good idea to get in touch with an attorney who can review your records to determine if you have cause to file suit.
Medical malpractice lawsuits revolve around injury or death resulting from events such as:
· Birth injury, including Erb’s palsy
· Surgical errors, such as wrong-site surgery
· Medication or anesthesia errors
· Emergency room negligence
· Missed or delayed diagnosis of cancer or another deadly disease
· Infection or sepsis
According to patient safety experts at Johns Hopkins University, medical errors kill over 250,000 people in the United States each year and are now the third leading cause of death in the U.S. Hundreds of thousands more sustain serious injury from medical error and negligence in our country on a yearly basis, but may be unaware that their complications were the result of medical malpractice. Tragically, many of these cases will never be investigated and the medical professionals responsible for patient harm will be allowed to continue practicing despite their negligence.
Inattention, Ineptitude, and Inaction
Many factors can contribute to a medical professional acting negligently. Perhaps the hospital they work for is understaffed. Perhaps they have not been properly trained. Perhaps medications were moved or mislabeled. Perhaps they are thinking about another patient or an upcoming procedure. Perhaps they are thinking about fishing.
The truth is, it is difficult to know what a doctor, nurse, or healthcare professional is or is not thinking when they harm a patient. But what they were thinking is irrelevant. What matters is the damage they have done. And this damage demands swift legal action.
Caring for patients is a difficult job, but it is one that healthcare professionals have trained extensively for. When these same professionals fail to uphold accepted standards of patient care, they may be guilty of malpractice and the victim of their negligence may be entitled to compensation for related medical expenses, lost wages, and personal pain and suffering — but only if the victim comes forward to report the incident to an experienced and qualified medical malpractice attorney.
Your Choice of Attorney Matters
According to a comprehensive review of medical malpractice settlements compiled by the National Institutes of Health (NIH), physicians win:
· 80–90% of jury trials with weak evidence of malpractice
· Approximately 70% of trials with borderline evidence
· 50% of trials with strong evidence of medical negligence
Even in cases where evidence of negligence is strong, victims of medical malpractice only have a 50/50 chance of securing compensation. The determining factor in which direction these cases go is often the legal team representing the patient.
When you select a medical malpractice attorney, it is incredibly important that you choose one with a proven history of winning landmark cases and securing large verdicts and settlements for victims of healthcare provider negligence. Take time to look through testimonials from former clients, read through highlighted verdicts and settlements, and review attorney and law firm background information when looking for representation. Only schedule consultations with the lawyers you find most impressive.
Nearly all medical malpractice attorneys will provide a free case review and consultation, giving you a chance to ask questions about the firm, their approach, and their previous successes. Remember, a free consultation does not obligate you to work with a specific attorney or law firm. You are not only entitled but encouraged to continue looking for legal representation until you find a firm you feel confident can help you win your case.
Most medical malpractice claims are dismissed before they ever reach trial. To help prevent this, it is important that you have a competent legal team working on your case as soon as possible after injury. If you have lost a loved one to medical malpractice, the same is true. The faster you can secure an experienced legal team, the sooner you can begin to seek justice.
Medical malpractice cases are bigger than their victims. When successful, these cases often result in changes that translate to increased safety for all. When you hold a negligent healthcare provider accountable, you are not only seeking justice for you and your family but helping to protect others from a similar fate.
Victims of medical malpractice, regardless of its cause, deserve swift and relentless legal representation. Be sure to take time in selecting an attorney, so that you can be certain you are working with an individual and a firm that you believe can help you get justice.