Healthcare professionals play a vital role in our lives on an everyday basis. From seeking treatment for severe illness or understanding the cause of debilitating pain to ensuring safe deliveries of newborns, patients entrust doctors with making sound medical decisions on their behalf.
While many medical procedures are successful and patients receive appropriate care, the unfortunate truth is that preventable errors and negligent decisions occur in healthcare facilities across the country, leading to permanent injury or even death. In this blog, we will highlight the role of medical malpractice attorneys in Philadelphia.
Understanding The Impact Of Medical Errors
Johns Hopkins researchers recently produced an alarming report which estimated that 80,000-160,000 individuals suffered permanent harm or death due to misdiagnosis or preventable errors each year in the US.
Furthermore, another study by this institution estimated that over 200,000 deaths were attributed to “never events,” significant healthcare errors that should have been entirely avoidable. These staggering numbers highlight the alarming prevalence of medical errors and the need for accountability.
Common Types Of Medical Malpractice Cases
Medical negligence has many forms and can have disastrous repercussions for its victims. Common forms of medical negligence cases are:
Misdiagnosis Or Failure To Diagnose
Failing to diagnose or misdiagnose severe conditions can have devastating consequences for patients, leading to delayed or inappropriate treatments and potentially creating lasting harm.
Either Mistaking key symptoms as irrelevant or misreading lab reports, such mistakes can be harmful to health and well-being.
Surgical errors encompass a wide variety of mistakes, from performing the incorrect procedure or operating on the wrong body part to errors during surgery that cause organs, nerves, or tissue damage.
Anesthesia errors such as administering too little or too much anesthesia may also have serious repercussions.
Medication errors occur when healthcare professionals prescribe the wrong drug, or an incorrect dosage, or fail to consider potential drug interactions and allergies.
Such mistakes may lead to adverse reactions, worsen conditions, or create new health concerns requiring medical intervention.
Negligent treatment occurs when healthcare professionals provide inadequate or substandard care, fail to adhere to standard practices, or violate their duty of care towards a patient, leading to worsened medical conditions, additional pain and suffering, or even death.
Birth injuries can arise during pregnancy, labor, or delivery due to negligence by healthcare providers, leading to long-term effects for both mother and baby.
These injuries have lifelong consequences for both mother and child and may impact their health forever.
The Role Of A Medical Malpractice Attorney
Medical malpractice attorneys play an essential role in America’s legal system by representing patients who have experienced negligence or substandard healthcare services.
Their ultimate goal is to secure compensation for victims or their families by showing that decisions or treatments fell below accepted medical standards of care.
To build a strong case, medical malpractice attorneys begin by confirming the existence of a doctor-patient relationship. Once established, they work with medical experts to review the case details and determine whether negligence occurred.
This could involve analyzing whether routine diagnostic tests were overlooked, incorrect procedures were performed, or essential treatments were neglected.
Collecting Evidence And Pursuing Legal Action
Once all evidence has been gathered, medical malpractice attorneys assist their clients through the legal process. They advise them on whether to opt for settlement out of court or take the matter to trial.
Given how costly and lengthy these types of lawsuits can be, reaching a settlement may be more desirable in certain instances.
Medical malpractice attorneys are highly skilled professionals who typically charge hourly rates. However, many medical malpractice cases are handled through contingency fee arrangements.
This means the attorney will receive a percentage of the financial recovery obtained, allowing victims or their families to pursue justice without upfront financial burdens.
Your Rights As A Patient
As a patient, you have certain rights regarding medical care. These include access to quality healthcare, patient dignity, confidentiality, informed consent, and making decisions regarding your own treatment.
HIPAA protects these rights and your ability to refuse treatment and make end-of-life decisions independently.
Medical malpractice is an unfortunate reality of healthcare, with preventable errors and negligent decisions leading to injury and even death for thousands of individuals annually. An experienced medical malpractice attorney plays an essential role in making sure victims receive justice and the compensation they are due. By holding healthcare providers accountable for their actions, these lawyers help promote patient safety while improving the overall quality of care.