Things to Know About Medical Malpractice
Between 2004 and 2014, there were 154,621 medical malpractice payments in the United States, according to data from the National Practitioner Data Bank. According to Physicians Practice’s 2015 Great American Physician Survey, around 32% of physicians have been involved in malpractice lawsuits.
How can I decrease the likelihood that I will experience medical malpractice?
Patients should be proactive with their healthcare choices, doing research and documenting health symptoms. They should keep a running list of questions to ask their healthcare providers and make sure they get the answers they deserve. If the patient does not speak up and advocate for his or her own well-being, who else will? While your medical providers are more educated in their field and it’s important to trust them, you should also make sure you understand what is going on with your own body. Having someone come with you to your medical appointment may help you feel more comfortable asking questions and understanding the answers given.
Should I ever get another opinion?
Get a second, third or even fourth option: Because medicine can be subjective, you will want to have several doctors who can determine whether your doctor behaved properly or not. If several other medical professionals believe your doctor acted improperly, this can strengthen your case.
What are the main reasons people file a medical malpractice lawsuit?
- A desire to prevent a similar (bad) incident from happening again
- A need for an explanation as to how and why an injury happened
- A desire for financial compensation to make up for actual losses, pain and suffering or to provide future care for the injured patient
- A desire to hold doctors accountable for their actions
Why do legitimate medical malpractice claims not get filed?
Some patients are concerned that other doctors will learn of their cases and refuse to treat them. Some patients fear—incorrectly—that it will lead to an increase in the cost of their medical care. Many potential claimants avoid lawsuits because of the perceived personal and financial costs associated with litigation.
What can I do if I have questions about my medical treatment?
If you believe you have been injured, you should contact an experienced medical malpractice lawyer for guidance. Time limitations apply to any potential claims for damages, and the sooner you approach a lawyer, the more time he or she will have to work on your claim and provide you with the best possible representation. Contact Lopez McHugh LLP to schedule a free consultation to discuss your case and your legal rights.