Failing to meet accepted medical standards may cause harm to the patient, and the medical professional or facility may be held liable for any resulting damages and injuries. Medical malpractice can be the result of negligence or omission or of an act by a health care provider in which the treatment provided does not meet accepted standard of practice and causes injury or death to the patient. Most cases of medical malpractice involve medical error, but a bad outcome is not proof of negligence or error. The "standard of care" is what a reasonably prudent medical provider would or would not have done under the same or similar circumstances.
In some cases, medical malpractice can result in lifelong disability, crippling medical expenses, loss of income, or even death.
More than 225,000 people die annually due to medical malpractice, and nearly half of those deaths occur in hospital emergency rooms, according to an article published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA). Medical malpractice is the third leading cause of death in the United States, following heart disease and cancer.
A Harvard Medical School study found that over 5 percent of all hospital patients were injured due to medical malpractice. The study found, though, that only one in eight patients who suffered due to medical malpractice ever files a lawsuit, and concluded that the concept of medical malpractice is not accessible enough for many victims, including instances where a child has suffered birth injuries and will need lifelong special care and accommodations.
Parker Waichman's Florida attorneys have been very successful in representing medical malpractice victims and obtaining compensation for them. An experienced medical malpractice attorney will evaluate your claim, assemble the necessary medical and other documentation, contact the essential experts, and communicate with the responsible party's attorney and insurance company.
To avoid being a victim of medical malpractice, experts advise patients to do research to gain as full an understanding as possible of their health condition and the available treatments and risks. Patients should document their symptoms and describe them fully to the doctor. When seeing a doctor, a patient should have a list of questions and should be sure the doctor provides full and detailed answers, especially about complications and side effects associated with a surgery or a drug. Patients should not feel intimidated by the medical system and should speak up if they sense something is wrong. Health experts advise having a family member or close friend come along on important medical visits to help absorb and understand complex and sometimes troubling information. And if a patient feels there has been a medical error or other failure in good medical practice, the patient should document and report the event.
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