According to Forbes, nationwide medical malpractice is the third leading cause of death in the U.S., right behind heart disease and cancer. As Palm Beach-based personal injury lawyers, we define medical malpractice as when a health care provider or a hospital fails to act with a reasonable standard of care, causing a new or aggravated injury to the patient. Sadly, medical mistakes can cause birth trauma, brain injury, paralysis, amputation, disability, and disfigurement. These injuries are often permanent and, in some cases, result in death.
Here are two statistics that highlight the severity:
- Each year, more people die from medical malpractice than from motor vehicle accidents or breast cancer.
- A study by the Institute of Medicine estimates that medical errors in hospitals result in 40,000 to 98,000 deaths annually.
Physical, financial and emotional costs associated with medical mistakes can be a major hardship to victims and their families. Thankfully, medical malpractice victims and their families can seek redress for their injuries and accountability for medical mistakes. However, medical malpractice cases have always been one of the most complicated personal injury cases to bring on behalf of a client.
The following are examples of the forms medical malpractice takes:
- Failure or delay in diagnosing a medical condition (or misdiagnosing it)
- Surgical- or anesthesia-related mishap during an operation
- Failure to disclose to the patient the risks associated with a procedure – so that ‘informed consent’ is never obtained
- Failure to manage a pregnancy or deliver a baby in a safe manner
- Failure to properly treat a medical condition after making a correct diagnosis
- Failure to administer medications properly
Medical malpractice success starts with proper legal representation
If you believe you have a potential medical malpractice case against a physician or hospital, it’s important you contact an attorney who has experience handling the complexities of personal injury law.
It’s essential to choose a firm that isn’t just knowledgeable in medical malpractice law, but has a reputation for experience and a record of success. People who don’t take this advice find that their lawyers make mistakes as easily as their doctors.