Do you know that many studies suggest medical error is one of the top three causes of death in the United States? When you need surgery, it’s understandable you might feel a bit worried and concerned about many things. Perhaps you will need to take an extended leave of absence from work and are unsure whether you’re prepared to meet the possible financial debt that could result.
Of all the various issues that likely cross your mind, you should not have to think about suffering preventable injuries (or worse, death) because a surgeon or other staff member fails to perform according to the highest level of accepted medical safety standards.
Top causes of medical error
When you seek care from a doctor or undergo any type of surgical procedure, there is obviously risk involved. As a medical patient, you should be able to reasonably assume that all efforts will be made to keep you safe during and directly following treatment. Many patients have been seriously injured or suffered untimely death because of these often preventable errors:
- Miscommunication: Whether medical staff members fail to properly pass necessary information along or a doctor neglects to inform you of the possible risks involved with your suggested treatment plan, substandard communication places you at greater risk for injury.
- Medication mistakes: A doctor might prescribe the wrong dosage of a drug, a pharmacist might read the prescription incorrectly, or a nurse might make a mistake when administering medication to you – any of these errors can have dangerous, even fatal results.
- Surgical errors: From wrong-site surgery to leaving a foreign object inside your body, a single error during surgery can cause catastrophic damage.
These are just a few of many common, often preventable errors that have caused medical patients to endure great suffering. In fact, some national studies show that cancer and heart disease are the only two greater causes of death than medical errors.
Who is liable for your injury?
If you have suffered injury because of a medical mistake, you can seek justice by filing a medical malpractice claim in civil court. When doing so, it is typically best to hire skilled and aggressive representation. One of the first things an experienced personal injury attorney can do is help you identify all possible sources of liability. Often, one or more of the following people are deemed negligent in medical malpractice lawsuits:
- Presurgery doctors: If your doctor recommends an unnecessary procedure or has misdiagnosed your condition, he or she may possibly be liable for your injury.
- Surgeons: Any mistake your surgeon makes during or following your operation may be subject to legal accountability.
- Nurses: If a nurse fails to follow your care instructions, gives you the wrong dose of medication or otherwise provides substandard assistance that leads to injury or illness, he or she may be a potential liable source in your personal injury claim.
The above list is by no means exhaustive, and other medical professionals may have caused you harm. One thing is certain: You should not bear the brunt of any financial expenses connected to your injury.
Every state, including Ohio, has its own guidelines and regulations regarding medical malpractice claims. An experienced advocate can help you determine the maximum amount of recovery available for your losses. By relying on the guidance of someone who understands the system, you may increase your chances of achieving a positive outcome in court.