Most people become familiar with health care workers as they are portrayed in the movies and on television. They are clad in clean uniforms, scrubbing their skin, and making life and death decisions with experienced ease. The stars of the shows perform miracles and are praised for their ability to solve almost every medical issue.
The problem with this scenario is that doctors are human, and they make thousands of mistakes a year that often result in unnecessary suffering or death. Since there is no law that demands doctors admit their mistakes, most are unreported. That leaves incompetent doctors to continue harming their patients.
Doctors Don’t Learn
In 1999, the National Academy Press Institute of Medicine published a research paper showing there are deaths involving medical errors in over 98,000 people each year. By 2013, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine found there were over 250,000 deaths involving medical errors. Sadly, the profession doesn’t appear to learn from its mistakes as the numbers continue to grow.
Public Is Unaware
Suits for medical malpractice are not listed in the media, even though they are not as uncommon as most people believe. Sure, not all of the lawsuits will prove their claim, but even if half show there was an injury caused by a poor quality of medical care, it is too much and too often. Here are a few of the malpractice problems doctors are most commonly sued over:
- Incorrect transfusions
- Surgical error
- Wrong surgeries
- Failure to treat
- Birth injury
Proving A Claim
To prove a medical malpractice claim is valid, there must be a life-altering injury resulting from substandard care by a medical professional in authority. There are three elements that must be proven.
- There was a duty of care or medical relationship.
- The medical professional was negligent in providing the expected standard of care.
- The patient was injured and suffered because of that negligent care.
Although malpractice cases can be difficult to prove, the legal system provides some guidelines to help those suffering from medical negligence. The provided categories include:
- Failure to diagnose a medical condition.
- Diagnosis of an improper medical condition.
- Willful disregard of the patient resulting in negligent treatment.
- Lack of patient consent.
- Failure to warn the patient.
Understanding Your Rights
Medical malpractice occurs more often than it should, and it has become a serious problem in America. As the numbers continue to grow and lawsuits increase, it is important to understand your rights. If you believe you have been injured due to the negligence of anyone in authority over you during a medical procedure, contact a medical malpractice lawyer for a consultation. No one deserves to be mistreated by their doctor, hospital, or other medical staff.