What to Do If Your Doctor Or Hospital Was Negligent
In 2000, it was determined that medical malpractice is the third largest cause of death in the United States. Journal of the American Medical Association concluded that 225,000 people die each year in the U.S. as a result of doctors, not including all the individuals who are injured by hospital negligence.
Medical Malpractice Statistics
According to the Journal:
- 106,000 people die from the negative effects of drugs
- 80,000 people die from infections in hospitals
- 20,000 die from other errors in hospitals
- 12,000 die from unnecessary surgery
- 7,000 die from medication errors in hospitals
One study suggested that 25% of doctors, primarily surgeons, get litigated for medical malpractice each year. What are examples of medical malpractice?
- Patients who are misdiagnosed
- Patients who are never diagnosed
- Victims of emergency room error
- Victims of a surgical mistake
- Victims of nursing home neglect
According to a study by the Department of Health and Human Service's Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality found that one in ten patients that die within 90 days of a surgery are killed because of a preventable error. When medical malpractice occurs, not only are patients' lives adversely affected, so are their pocket books. According to the Department of Health and Human Service's study:
- Patients pay 6% more for wound opening associates with medical errors- $1,426
- Patients pay 25% more for blood clots or other vascular or pulmonary problems associated with medical errors- $7,838
- Patients pay 32% more for metabolic problems, such as kidney failure or uncontrolled blood sugar, associated with medical errors- $11,797
- Patients pay 33% more for nursing care errors, such as pressure ulcers and hip fractures
Because medical malpractice can so negatively alter the life of a patient, every victim of medical malpractice is entitled to damages. But what steps should you take after a medical malpractice incident?
Steps You Can Take
In the wake of a medical malpractice accident, you should hire a personal injury attorney so he/she can determine if somebody negligently provided medical care to you and who can determine what injuries were caused as a result. If a personal injury attorney determines that medical malpractice did occur, a lawsuit can be filed. One of the most important things that you can do is to take pictures of any things that don't look right- such as cuts or abrasions. You can also gather all hospital records, request more medical documentation from a hospital and research a doctor's medical track record. Keep a journal to record the medical malpractice incident, your injuries and follow-up care.
Something good to consider is switching medical providers by a referral. You don't want your doctor to know that you are considering filing a medical malpractice claim, because he/she could change your medical records and minimize your chance of receiving a settlement.
An imperative thing to keep in mind is that Texas has a two year statute of limitations for suits against health care providers. That two-year time period typically runs from:
- The date of the tort (this means the wrongful act or infringement of rights that has motivated you to file a lawsuit)
- The last date of relevant treatment
- The last date of relevant hospitalization
Get help now!
Because there are so many things to examine and determine and because you only have a brief window of time in which you can file for medical malpractice, you should secure a credible and experienced personal injury attorney as soon as possible. Named Texas SuperLawyers®, Zinda Law Group is a firm you can trust and depend upon after your ideal.
The staff members at Zinda Law Group genuinely care about the best interests of their clients and commit 100% of their energy to fight for the damages their clients deserve. Because Zinda Law Group works on a contingency fee- if you don't receive compensation from the case, neither do they. Give the firm a call today to begin taking aggressive action against the doctor or hospital behind your medical malpractice experience.