Shades of Medical Malpractice that you Should know Too
It’s no longer a hidden fact. The Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) has published a study that states that medical negligence is the next leading cause of deaths in the United States, just after cancer and heart diseases. In 2012 alone, more than $3 billion was distributed as medical malpractice payouts, with a shocking average of one payout every 43 minutes! Now, if that is not concerning, what is?
Read on for certain troubling trends in medicine and learn how you can lessen your risks of medical malpractice or hospital negligence.
How is medical malpractice defined?
Common cases of medical malpractice are known to occur when a physician deviates from the benchmarked ‘standard of care’ with regards to a patient’s treatment. The standard or ‘quality of care’ refers to all that a medically prudent health expert would do (or not do) when placed in similar or same circumstances. In a nutshell, it points towards the intent of the health provider, and whether (or not) he has been negligent in the approach towards his treatment regime.
You have been unlucky enough to face negligent care? What do you do?
You may like to get in touch with a malpractice attorney straightaway. All case details – including the acts of securing relevant medical records to pertinent statements given by your caregivers– are to be reviewed for determining if legal action can be taken on the case. It is also essential to have a fair idea about the statutes of limitation applicable to the state in which you reside. These regulations confirm the time frames by which your case can be permanently barred or filed. All procedural requirements, related to the location where the malpractice allegedly occurred, have to be understood too.
What determines if one is prey to medical negligence?
There are strong grounds for a malpractice claim in case the negligence of a medical expert results in damages, personal injury or the wrongful death of a patient. But then, a bad outcome may not always be proof of negligence. On some occasions, a medical expert may inform his patient that a previous health care provider is responsible for offering negligent medical care, and/or that the patient has himself to blame for the mistake. Future claims may be prevented with a quick, earnest “apology” or the opportunity for reaching a settlement, sans any litigation. Patients with documented injuries and damages in their records have substantial and justifiable cases for attracting legal recourse.
What steps can you take to lessen the probability of experiencing medical malpractice?
Take a proactive approach, especially in the areas in which medical care is concerned. Indulge in research to gain further knowledge about your health condition and keep track of all symptoms. Also, ask questions from your ask health care provider and ensure complete and full answers, even if you have to demand them. There is absolutely no need to be intimidated by your physician or the prevailing medical system. Advocate and speak up –after all, it’s about your well-being.
However, even as you take positive steps to place yourself on firmer grounds, trust your nurse or doctor – there are very few out there who are convicted of medical negligence or malpractice in the end!
Has the malpractice climate changed in the last two decades?
Well, regardless of what the proponents of “malpractice” and “tort” believe in, or argue about; the truth is that medical-malpractice claims are surely on the decline. Now, many states have substantial limits on the extent of damage awards, especially in relation to medical-malpractice claims. The award limits defined by the authorities have impacted patients with future medical needs and catastrophic injuries gravely. Those who fail to get justice are left with no other option than to depend on health insurance or public programs such as Medicare or Medicaid for taking care of their future medical bills. This in turn shifts the overall expense of medical malpractice onto the public, instead of making the responsible party pay.
Why do many legitimate medical-malpractice cases do not see the light of day
There are many reasons why patients prefer not to pursue their medical-malpractice claims, even though they may be valid. While some harbour the concern that doctors would not treat them or decrease the levels of ‘standard of care’ in future; others incorrectly believe that they will end up paying a lot more on their medical bills. Again, there are many distraught patients who chose to opt out because of the perceived financial and personal costs linked with litigation.
Indeed, there are many troubling issues that place you on shaky grounds when you have to resort to medical care. A bit of care, proper research, and the right approach, will help you pass your difficult times without getting into the tangles of malpractice. Think about it.
- Crane, M. (2013, August 13). 50 Shades of Malpractice. Retrieved October 2, 2015, from Medscape: http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/849305_1
- Demetrius Cheeks. (2013, May 16). 10 Things You Want To Know About Medical Malpractice. Retrieved September 30, 2015, from Forbes: http://www.forbes.com/forbes/welcome/
- Medical News Today. (2014, September 17). What is medical malpractice? Retrieved October 2, 2015, from Medical News Today: http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/248175.php
- The New York Times. (2015, August 31). Medical Malpractice. Retrieved September 30, 2015, from The New York Times: http://topics.nytimes.com/top/news/health/diseasesconditionsandhealthtopics/malpractice/index.html