Medical practitioners have been the trusted “go-to” professionals for those who are sick or injured for centuries. It’d be hard to find a professional who is as trusted as one in the medical field, but unfortunately, individuals sometimes find out that this trust is misplaced. Instances of medical malpractice definitely don’t occur for a majority of people, but they’re also not uncommon in the field. This is why it’s important for everyone to understand and be able to recognize the signs of medical malpractice.
Medical Malpractice Statistics
The statistics related to medical malpractice are disheartening. Keep in mind that many instances result in injuries that don’t get reported. In fact, hospitals only report treatment errors in Medicare patients 14 percent of the time. This means that a majority of cases of malpractice never get reported, but this is nowhere near the most frightening statistic.
It is estimated that instances of medical malpractice result in around 200,000 deaths every single year in the United States. Be mindful, however, that dying under a physician’s care isn’t automatically malpractice. The doctor must have engaged in a behavior that isn’t the norm for his profession, and that behavior must’ve led to the injury, or death, that occurred. Visiting a malpractice attorney website can help one further discern the intricacies of medical malpractice.
Signs of Medical Malpractice
As mentioned above, malpractice only occurs when an injury is sustained after the level of care provided by a physician is found to be insufficient when compared to other professionals. It’s more important, however, to recognize a mistake before it actually leads to an injury. One way of doing this is to take note of whether a prescribed treatment is actually working or not. If a person’s condition isn’t improving, or even worse, is deteriorating, it is crucial to head back to the doctor.
Additionally, a bit of research on the part of a patient will let them know whether their symptoms match up with their given diagnosis. If they don’t, there’s a chance that a misdiagnosis occurred. Additionally, it’s important to take note of whether physicians and other medical personnel are avoiding answering questions. This could be a sign that a mistake was made.
The aforementioned warning signs are for cases of malpractice that may not be immediately obvious. More overt injuries, such as paralysis or brain damage from botched surgeries, should be immediately noticed. Either way, however, it’s imperative to properly handle these situations.
Suing for Medical Malpractice
A person who suspects medical malpractice should seek additional treatment immediately. If a mistake is caught early, and no injury is sustained, then actual malpractice didn’t occur. As mentioned earlier, malpractice means that an injury resulted from treatment administered by authorized medical personnel. If an injury has already happened, however, it’s essential to seek legal help after speaking with a doctor.
Around $3.6 billion was paid out in medical malpractice claims in 2012, yet only 15 percent of personal injury cases are related to medical malpractice. This amount paid out is so high because of the serious damage that malpractice can cause. Sadly, a small percentage of these cases actually results in compensation, but this is often due to a person not having legal assistance. When it comes to medical malpractice claims, an attorney is more of a necessity than an option.
A fear of medical mistakes should never prevent a person from seeking professional physician services, but it’s also important to remain vigilant. Seemingly minor mistakes can lead to detrimental outcomes for those who don’t recognize the signs of medical malpractice. Unfortunately, even recognizing these issues cannot always prevent the damage that occurs, and when this happens, it’s important to seek legal help. Depending on the injury sustained due to the mistake, a person may be financially ruined if they don’t properly handle the situation.
Will Powell is a freelance writer who sympathizes with those who are victims of medical malpractice. Price Benowitz, LLP, at http://medicalmalpractice.virginia-personalinjurylawyer.com, offers victims legal representation that will assist them gaining compensation for their suffering resulting from medical malpractice.