Americans trust the U.S. healthcare system to provide the public with a proactive and high standard of care, yet an alarming number of individuals are killed or injured every year due to the leading causes of medical malpractice. Most medical mistakes made by doctors, nurses, and other medical professionals occur in intensive care units, operating rooms, and emergency departments where the lack of precision and human error can have life-threatening consequences.
Johns Hopkins University published a study that shows medical errors are an under-recognized cause of death in the United States, reporting the alarming statistic that nearly 250,000 American die each year due to preventable medical malpractice. The National Patient Safety Foundation uncovered in a survey that 21% of American adults reported having suffered from a medical error and 31% of the respondents said a family member had experienced medical negligence.
When injury or death occurs due to medical errors, those affected or their families have the right to seek justice and reparations through a medical malpractice lawsuit. The Fitzgerald Law Firm has decades of experience getting exceptional results in complex and catastrophic medical malpractice cases, holding careless practitioners, institutions, and companies accountable.
What is Medical Malpractice?
Medical malpractice occurs when a medical professional fails to provide the proper standard of care to a patient, resulting in injury to the patient. Severe injuries caused by medical malpractice can result in overwhelming medical costs. The practitioner or institution at fault for providing substandard treatment that results in injury or death can be required to make up for damages caused.
Not every medical error constitutes medical malpractice. For a claim to be considered malpractice or negligence, the practitioner or institution must have demonstrated a violation of the standard of care, and the plaintiff must show that the violation directly caused injury to the patient.
Most Common Medical Errors
Medical errors can occur in any medical setting and can potentially cause significant injury and in some cases, result in wrongful death. Some leading causes of medical errors include:
Failure to diagnose or a missed diagnosis is one of the most common medical mistakes. Cancer and heart attacks are among the most misdiagnosed illnesses which can have serious repercussions as symptoms compound.
- Medication Error
When a doctor prescribes a prescription, several important variables must be considered such as allergies and reactions, other drugs the patient is taking, proper medication, and proper dosage. Any of these variables, if ignored, has the potential to create serious health risks.
- Surgical Errors
Operations are complicated procedures with many variables and may involve multiple doctors and staff. Whether surgery is incorrectly performed, a foreign body is left inside a patient, the operation is performed on the wrong site, or even the wrong patient, surgical errors can have major life-changing impacts on a patient.
- Birth Injuries
The Wall Street Journal reported that maternal mortality rates are on the rise and have reached the highest rate since the 1960s. Preventable complications during pregnancy and the birth process can lead to injury or death to the mother or baby. Negligence can include improper cesarean section delivery, delayed care, and excessive bleeding from an abruption, for example.
- Hospital-Related Infections
Since COVID-19, hospitals have seen an increase in the number of serious cases related to sepsis or septic shock. At times, these infections are contracted by long-term patients within a hospital setting due to a lack of proper care and treatment, understaffed facilities, and injuries from medical equipment.
When to Seek Legal Assistance
Not every error made by a doctor is considered malpractice, as specific criteria must be met. If you believe you or a loved one have experienced medical malpractice or negligence, and have suffered significant consequences, you may reach out to an experienced and trusted medical malpractice attorney.
The Fitzgerald Law Firm has decades of experience representing individuals and families in medical malpractice and injury and death cases. The firm has extensive resources and connections with medical experts to help evaluate the conduct of medical providers and determine whether their actions failed to conform to an appropriate standard of care. Our team of attorneys has the skills and tenacity to not only prepare your case for court but has the reputation of upholding challenging cases on appeal.
Contact The Fitzgerald Law Firm today to schedule an evaluation of your case.