According to the Journal of the American Medical Association, medical negligence is currently the third leading cause of death in the United States, with cancer and heart disease taking up the first two.
As a patient, you can do things to avoid becoming part of this increasing statistic. And, if the unfortunate event does occur to you or a loved one, you still have options for compensation.
10 Things You Need to Know About Medical Malpractice:
1. What is medical malpractice? It is when a healthcare provider does not issue the standard level of care, such as diagnosing a disease or acting negligently.
2. How is a case determined to be medical malpractice? Malpractice claims happen when a healthcare provider’s negligence causes injury or death. But, bad medical care or outcomes isn’t always medical malpractice. In most cases, medical malpractice is only sought after if a person encounters injuries or damages that were not part of their condition and could have been preventable.
3. What should I do if I think I have a medical malpractice case? If you were the victim of a healthcare provider’s negligence, then you may be entitled to a proper settlement. You will want to speak with a medical malpractice attorney first to see if you have a case.
4. How can I lessen the chances for medical errors? Understand your health condition and the medications you should be taking. Before taking a new prescription, research it. If you are visiting a new physician, then look into his or her reputation, and only visit physicians with solid track records. Never be afraid to ask questions.
5. Are there limitations to a medical malpractice cases? You may be limited on the damages you can collect, but this is based on your case and the negligence. If the injuries or damages were not severe, then you would not collect as much as a person who was permanently disabled.
6. What procedures are more likely to result in malpractice? While there is no set list, these are often surgical (more specifically cosmetic surgery) procedures.
7. Do I sue the doctor or hospital? Sometimes you may have a clear picture of who was negligent, while other times it is not so clear. Your personal injury attorney can decide whether or not it is the physician, staff, hospital or a combination of the three.
8. What about faulty medical products? Sometimes the physician operates as they should, but a malfunctioning medical device has caused your injuries. In this case, it would likely fall under product liability rather than medical malpractice.
9. Is there a statute of limitations? As with all cases, there is a statute of limitations on how long you have to file; therefore, you should speak with a personal injury attorney right away.
10. Do I have to file a lawsuit? Sometimes you don’t have to file a lawsuit. There are instances where a physician will settle out of court, but still give you a settlement for your injuries or damages.
If you or a loved one was injured because of a medical malpractice situation, then you need an expert by your side. Contact West Palm Beach Medical Malpractice Lawyers at Fetterman & Associates, PA today. We offer free consultations, so you have nothing to lose.
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