Medical practitioners are not exempted from making mistakes. They’re only humans capable of committing wrongs in their practice although in rare instances. If ever they do something wrong, it can only be by accident with no intention of causing harm to their patients.
Medical malpractice has become an important concern among many patients and legal counsels. It has also affected physicians as well who have to deal with the rising cost of malpractice insurance and being charged in court.
A report issued by the Institute of Medicine entitled “To Err is Human” showed that some 98,000 people die each year due to mistakes done in hospitals. The research which was based on several studies revealed that one in every 100 people hospitalized suffer from a serious injury and only 1.5 percent of those inured actually filed a malpractice lawsuit.
If you become a victim of a medical malpractice such as if something went wrong with your treatment that resulted in an injury, the first thing you need to do is get a good lawyer specializing in this field to help you file for the necessary damages. You have to relate everything to your legal counsel to determine whether or not you have a case to file. If you only want an explanation or an apology from your attending physician, your lawyer should also be able to help you reach a settlement. Initial consultations are normally at no cost.
Gather as many evidences as you can in relation to your case. Evidences need to be documented to be accepted in court. They are very important in ensuring that you have a credible and strong claim especially when you face the jury.
Medical malpractice can result in less serious injuries or permanent disability and death of a loved one, in worse cases. As patients, you have the right to seek compensation in order for you to move on with your life. A victim can file for damages to recoup his medical expenses otherwise, he or she could end up broke moving forward.
Patients who wish to pursue legal actions against erring medical and healthcare providers need to understand the downsides of pursuing a case. It can take years for a case to go into trial and you may not end up successful. The courts are often protective of the health profession making it difficult for malpractice cases to win all the time.
Photo via nursedefender.com
About the guest author:
Ron is a former legal assistant who has worked for medical malpractice lawyers for three years.