98,000 Americans Die Each Year
From Medical Mistakes
According to the National Academy of Sciences, approximately 98,000 Americans die from medical mistakes each year. Medical malpractice is usually the result of negligence of a healthcare provider who does not perform to the standards of their profession. This includes doctors, chiropractors, physician assistants, nurses, pharmacists, therapists, and anyone providing healthcare services.
A medical malpractice case can result from errors such as improper diagnosis, delay in diagnosis, failure to diagnose, lack of informed consent, errors made during surgery, medication errors, birth injury, and improper treatment. What the plaintiff has to prove is that the healthcare provider was negligent and that the negligence caused an injury (damages).
Medical negligence or malpractice refers to the failure of a physician or other healthcare provider to meet the standard of care. The standard of care is based on what a reasonable person within the same healthcare field would or would not do. For example, a doctor who makes the wrong diagnosis may be negligent because the knowledge needed to make the correct diagnosis is specific to his/her field and known by any reasonable doctor in that field.
When you have negligence you then must be able to show that the healthcare provider’s negligence is that cause of your damages. At times there may be a poor outcome medically that is not associated with any negligence. The poor outcome must have been caused by the healthcare provider’s negligent care.
If there are no damages then there is no case no matter how negligent the healthcare provider was. In general malpractice cases that have minor damages, or one in which the individual has fully recovered, can result in the recovery being less than the amount of money spent running the lawsuit. Some of the reasons as to why there may be such a large expense include obtaining the full medical record, and locating an expert witness that will review the medical records and testify at trial if needed.
A lawsuit is how the civil justice system works to compensate people injured by the negligence of a healthcare provider. Medical malpractice lawsuits, however, can be very time consuming and expensive. It is therefore important to make sure that your case is strong and that there is a good chance of recovery of damages.