If you need the care of a doctor, the last thing you want to hear about is medical malpractice, which is defined as treatment by a health care provider that results in harm or death to a patient. However, according to JAMA, the Journal of the American Medical Association, you and everyone else should hear about medical malpractice because it follows only heart disease and cancer as the leading cause of death in the United States. In 2013, researchers at Johns Hopkins reported that diagnostic errors by American doctors resulted in more than 80,000 deaths every year.
Most cases of medical malpractice involve an error on the part of the health professional, such as the wrong medication or wrong diagnosis. Some malpractice is charged because the caregiver does nothing at all, called an act of omission. All medical malpractice claims occur because the provider is charged with deviating from what is regarded as a recognized “standard of care.” In other words, what would a competent doctor have or not have done under similar circumstances?
Are You a Victim?
What do you do if you suspect that you or a loved one has been the victim of medical malpractice? The first step should be a call to an experienced medical malpractice lawyer. This area of law often involves an understanding of complicated medical issues to get the best possible results for the client. Medical malpractice cases also have statutes of limitations that vary somewhat from state to state, so don’t delay before consulting a malpractice attorney.
Once you figure out of you are a victim of medical malpractice or not, it is time to gather your evidence. Like any case, you need to show proof that justifies your allegations against the doctor, nurse or clinic. For your medical malpractice claim to be successful, these facts must be proven:
* The health care provider did not provide the recognized standard of care.
* Because the health care provider was negligent in providing or not providing care,
an injury resulted. This face is vital to proving a medical malpractice case. If a
health professional did indeed provide the wrong care or provided no care at all,
but the patient was not injured, then there is no case. Malpractice must result in
harm, injury, or death.
* There must be proof that the malpractice injury caused real damage to the victim,
such as loss of job, permanent disability, or constant pain.
Medical malpractice cases can be long and difficult to pursue. However, if you are the victim, you have the right to compensation, and if you are a family member of a victim you want vindication and justice. You will no doubt need a lawyer in this process who can represent you and get you what you deserve in a case like this. A lawyer will have a full understanding of your rights and what kind of action needs to be taken so that the situation can be rectified. Unfortunately, in many of these situations, financial compensation is the only restitution you will see—in many cases the physical damage caused cannot be undone. Information for this article was provided by professionals who offer Chicago medical legal help for those who fall victim to workplace injuries, personal injuries, and medical malpractice.