A recent study published by in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) reveals that medical negligence is the third leading cause of death in the U.S., behind heart disease and cancer. More than $3 billion was spent in medical malpractice payouts in 2012, which averages to a payout every 43 minutes. In terms of human lives, medical errors kill roughly 200,000 patients in the U.S. each year.
There are ways people can protect themselves from medical malpractice—first and foremost, self education and advocacy. The legal definition of medical malpractice is when a health-care provider deviates from the recognized “standard of care” in the treatment of a patient; the “standard of care” is basically what any reasonably prudent medical provider would or would not have done under the same or similar circumstances—a deviation translates to negligence.
If a provider’s negligence causes injury or damages to a patient, a malpractice claim can be instigated. But an injury or prolonged condition doesn’t always prove medical negligence. Occasionally, health-care providers may inform a patient they have received negligent medical care from a previous health-care provider and, sometimes, they’ll admit to a patient that they have made a mistake and apologize. Whether this is out of goodwill or fear over impending litigation, it may stop the claim. The hospital or doctor’s insurance company wants to settle with the injured patient directly (and before the full extent of injuries are known), and preferably with no attorneys present who would up the settlement stakes.
Medical malpractice cases are hard to prove in court, and they’re expensive, lengthy, and stressful. Despite the 200,000 medical errors that lead to fatalities, only 15% of the personal-injury lawsuits filed annually involve medical-malpractice claims. Over 80% of those lawsuits end with no payment whatsoever to the injured patient or their survivors. Most personal injury attorneys won’t take a malpractice case unless there’s solid evidence of negligence that can be verified by experts. Statues of limitation on medical malpractice lawsuits vary from state to state; so do the procedural requirements that must be met before a medical malpractice lawsuit is filed.
If you or someone you care for has suffered an injury as a result of negligence, you have options. Contact Mike Agruss Law, at 312-224-4695 for a free consultation. We are a Chicago injury law firm representing individuals and families who have suffered an injury or loss due to an accident. Mike Agruss Law, will handle your personal injury case quickly, will advise you every step of the way, and will not hesitate to go to trial for you. Lastly, Mike Agruss Law, does not get paid attorney’s fees unless we win your case. Our no-fee promise is that simple. Therefore, you have nothing to risk when you hire us–just the opportunity to seek justice.