Medical malpractice is the term given to a failure of a healthcare facility or professional that results in the injury of a patient. The circumstances surrounding the injury can vary widely but usually arise from negligence or omission. According to a study from Johns Hopkins, medical malpractice is the third leading cause of death in the United States.
Medical malpractice is only outpaced by heart disease and cancer as leading causes of death in the U.S., according to their analysis.
This means that, despite what you may have previously thought, medical errors occur with alarming frequency and the effect they have is often catastrophically severe.
So, how do you know if you or someone you love has suffered medical malpractice and what can you do about it?
What is medical malpractice?
Medical malpractice occurs when a healthcare professional or facility deviates from medical standards, also known as the “standard of care,” and an injury occurs. These standards are acknowledged as the treatment that would be considered reasonably prudent by other healthcare professionals in a similar situation.
Medical malpractice examples
There are an innumerable number of ways that this type of health care negligence can occur. The following list is not exclusive and is provided to illustrate some of the forms that medical malpractice can take.
- Unnecessary surgery,
- Failure to assess symptoms,
- Misdiagnosis or failure to diagnose,
- Errors in surgery,
- Anesthesia error,
- And more.
When does a malpractice lawsuit exist?
If a medical provider’s negligence causes an injury or damages to an individual, a medical malpractice lawsuit may exist. However, this does not mean that simply because there was a bad outcome, there is a malpractice lawsuit. The entity allegedly responsible for the injury must have acted outside of the accepted standard of care.
Florida Statutes provides some assistance in describing this further, stating that the question surrounding medical malpractice is “whether a physician’s actions represented a breach of the prevailing professional standard of care.”
In other words, would other reasonable healthcare providers have made the same decisions when faced with a similar situation.
What should you do about medical malpractice?
If you suspect that you or a loved one may have suffered because of medical malpractice, you should contact an attorney as soon as possible. Acting quickly is vital to protecting evidence and ensuring that important deadlines related to the possible litigation are met.
Our law firm is actively investigating these claims and would be happy to discuss any potential claim in a free initial consultation. Call us toll free at 800-435-8778 or contact us here.