People go to their doctors to get medical care from an expert, but sometimes that expert does more harm than good. According to a 2008 study done by Health Affairs Magazine, there are approximately $55 billion per year in medical liability costs, with just under $6 billion of those costs going to medical malpractice lawsuits. Most doctors mean well, but the medical malpractice system was set up to protect patients from those doctors that are negligent in their profession, and to punish those doctors as well.
What Is Medical Malpractice?
The first thing a patient needs to know about medical malpractice is a definition that can help lead to recognizing a potential issue. In the simplest terms, medical malpractice occurs when any type of medical provider is negligent in delivering care. Most courts define negligence as not adhering to the standard guidelines of good medical practice during treatment. As you can imagine, this leaves plenty of room for misinterpretation.
How Can I Tell If I Am The Victim Of Medical Malpractice?
If you are not a doctor, then it can be difficult to tell when you are the victim of medical malpractice. Conditions that take a long time to treat can sometimes make the patient feel as though the doctor is being negligent. Some cases offer immediate proof of malpractice. For example, if a patient passes away during a surgery then there is a chance that someone is negligent.
It is important to note that not getting the results you wanted from your care is not always an indication that you are a victim of malpractice. If you feel as though you are the victim of malpractice, then you can get a second opinion from a different medical care provider to substantiate your claim.
What Do I Do If I Think I Am The Victim Of Medical Malpractice?
If you feel that you are the victim of malpractice, then it is important to contact a qualified attorney immediately. Each state has a statute of limitations for malpractice lawsuits, and your condition may not qualify for a lawsuit if it has been going on for longer than the statute allows. If you feel you are the victim of malpractice, then contact an attorney immediately and your attorney will instruct you on what to do next.
Can I Prevent Medical Malpractice?
Sometimes good doctors make bad mistakes. But you can usually count on a bad doctor making a mistake more often than not. In this age of the Internet, you should do plenty of research on any doctor before you make an appointment. If your primary care provider is trying to send you to a specialist that has a bad reputation, then request a new specialist. Being proactive is the best way to prevent being a victim of medical malpractice.
Will Filing A Malpractice Lawsuit Cause My Health Costs To Go Up?
Many malpractice victims avoid filing lawsuits because they fear that their health care provider or their health insurance carrier will increase their medical costs. Filing a legitimate medical malpractice lawsuit that is based on verifiable facts will not cause you to have to pay more for health care in the future.
When you feel that you are the victim of medical malpractice, your health could be at risk. It is important to get the second opinion of a qualified physician, and then contact an experienced attorney to protect your rights, and see to it that a negligent doctor is not allowed to practice medicine on any other patients.