It takes more than a decade of specialized education and hands-on learning to become a physician. After college, there are four years of medical school, followed by multiple years of practical instruction as a resident.
Given all of the education involved in becoming a medical doctor, people tend to put a lot of trust in the professionals working at their doctor’s office or local hospitals. Despite the fact that most medical professionals aim to provide the best possible care, not all doctors do their jobs well as consistently as they should.
Medical malpractice is, unfortunately, a very common safety issue in the United States, and it affects millions of families each year.
Medical mistakes are a leading cause of death
The number one causing death in the United States is heart disease, followed by cancer. However, the third most common cause of death is medical malpractice. Mistakes including medication errors, diagnostic failures and surgical issues can prove fatal in many cases. Every year, millions of Americans experience adverse medical consequences because of malpractice even if they do not die as a result of this substandard care.
How do people respond to medical malpractice?
Holding a physician or medical facility accountable for medical malpractice is often a challenge. If you file a medical malpractice lawsuit, you must obtain medical records from the facility, which may not be thorough enough to prove your case. They will likely also require review by an uninvolved medical professional to validate that the defendant named in your case made a major mistake or deviated from best practices.
Most medical professionals and modern facilities carry extensive malpractice insurance. If an error does occur that leaves someone with lasting consequences or significant expenses, an insurance company can potentially compensate the affected patient or their surviving family members. Even in cases where there isn’t appropriate insurance coverage, those harmed by a doctor’s mistake or negligence could still pursue significant damages via a civil lawsuit.
If you believe that your harm may have resulted from a situation that constitutes medical malpractice, reviewing your medical records can be a good starting point. Doing so may inspire you to file a claim to secure compensation and hopefully prompt changes that will prevent others from suffering the same poor outcome that you did.