July is Medical Malpractice Awareness Month, and it can be hard to know if you’ve ever been a victim of medical malpractice. Here’s everything you need to know.
One percent of hospital patients are the victims of medical malpractice. And out of that number, only 2.9 percent of victims actually file a claim.
That is a small percentage, especially when you consider the harm that can be caused by negligence in healthcare. So why aren’t more people filing claims regarding medical malpractice?
Well, most people simply don’t know what constitutes malpractice. They don’t realize they’ve been victimized by a healthcare professional.
We’re here to set the record straight. Keep reading for three things you need to know about medical malpractice.
1. What Is Medical Malpractice?
Accidents happen in the medical field all the time. But what’s the difference between an honest accident and medical malpractice?
Medical malpractice happens when a doctor, healthcare professional, or hospital causes harm to a patient through negligence.
Medical malpractice claims need to have the following three characteristics in order to be deemed malpractice:
- Violation of the standard of care
- An injury was caused by negligence
- The injury was significant
What constitutes a “significant injury”? Well, it means that your life was greatly affected by the injury.
If, as a result of the injury, you missed a lot of work, received or will receive high medical bills, are suffering from unusual pain, or have a disability then you may have been a victim of medical malpractice.
2. Common Types of Malpractice
Malpractice can occur in many ways, and it’s important to be aware of the most common types of malpractice. Here’s a list of types of malpractice you should know about:
- Failure to diagnose
- Failure to treat
- Prescription drug negligence
- Surgical errors
- Anesthesia mistakes
- Birth injuries
It’s important to note that malpractice can occur in other ways, so if you’re unsure you’ve been a victim, seek counsel from an attorney. If you feel like you’ve been a victim to any of the above occurrences, it’s time to take action.
3. What to Do If You’re a Victim
If you think you’re a victim of medical malpractice, you’ll need to follow a few important steps. First, you should find a new doctor that can reverse or prevent any further damage caused by the negligence.
You’ll need to gather all of your medical records and any other evidence you can collect from your time with the negligent doctor or health practitioner. The more documentation you have, the better off you’ll be in court.
Then, you should seek out a high-quality personal injury attorney. It’s important to do your research and find someone with a history of winning these types of cases, like this medical malpractice lawyer.
Once you’ve hired a lawyer, don’t speak to anyone about the case aside from your lawyer. The defense may reach out to you for information, but just direct their call to your attorney to handle.
You’re Not Alone
If you’ve been a victim of medical malpractice, know that you are not alone. Find a personal injury attorney to represent you in court and bring justice to the healthcare professional that brought you harm.
For more helpful content, be sure to check out our health blog page today.