It’s an interesting comparison – medical malpractice lawsuits are fairly rare in the grand scheme of things, however medical malpractice is the third leading cause of death in America. If so many lives are ended due to the malpractice or negligence of a healthcare professional or institution, why aren’t there more lawsuits seen in court? There are an infinite number of reasons that a person or family may choose not to file a lawsuit against their doctor or healthcare company. To name a few:
- Most people go into surgery or receive a diagnosis without suspicion. They believe that their doctor or healthcare professional is trustworthy and that there is little room for error. If they do find out they did not receive proper care or the right diagnosis, they feel uncomfortable suing their doctor.
- Statute of Limitations
- Oftentimes, sadly, a medical malpractice case does not make it to court simply due to the fact that the person or family decided to do so too late. Each state has their own statute of limitations, though many state require a malpractice case to be filed within 1 to 3 years of the incident. When families bring their cases to an attorney, only to find out that they missed the deadline, there is little to nothing that can be done at that point.
Some of the main medical malpractice cases that happen are:
- Medication Errors
- Whether as an at-home prescription or as a follow-up medication to surgery taken in a hospital, incorrect medication is a huge reason for medical malpractice cases. When people are essentially misdiagnosed or wrongfully medicated, then they are at risk for a number of adverse side effects. If a medication is harmful enough, a person may file for a medical malpractice.
- Surgical Errors
- More often than people would like to think, doctors sometimes perform surgery on the wrong body part. They may also leave surgical tools inside of people by accident. Whenever something major such as surgical errors occur, it is imperative that the person bring the case to a professional attorney’s attention immediately.
- Lack of Informed Consent
- A lot of the time, a doctor does not spend an adequate amount of time with their patients to discuss the risks of the procedure or surgery they are considering enduring. For example, if a doctor brushes over or fails to give full disclosure on the risks of a surgery, and then something goes wrong, they may be sued for lack of informed consent.
If you believe you have a medical malpractice case on your hands, or are concerned about the timeframe of a current malpractice or negligence case, call our offices today at (505) 388-0066 for a free consultation.