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Four things to know about medical malpractice

First off, what exactly is medical malpractice, or as others call it, medical negligence?

Medical malpractice occurs when the health-care provider (the hospital or doctor) strays away from following the “standard of care” when treating the patient. The definition of the “standard of care,” is how a doctor should or should not have acted under the same or similar circumstances. This standard will differ by procedure.

Medical malpractice is no laughing matter. In fact, it lands as the third leading cause of death (unintentional injuries/accidents) in the United States. The top two? Heart Disease and cancer.

Unintentional Injury deaths totaled over 169,000 in 2016 and billions of dollars are spent every year in medical malpractice payouts.

Due to this startling fact, you might be wondering how to keep yourself safe? You might be wondering how to determine if yourself or someone you know has been a victim of negligent care? You’ll find those answers and a couple others below.

  1. How to determine if you or someone you know has been a victim of medical negligence: If you suffered an injury or additional damages during your procedure, you can claim medical malpractice. But remember, a poor outcome doesn’t always mean you experienced medical negligence. If your claim is supported, insurance companies would rather pay out to you directly. If they can achieve this, it can keep you from hiring an attorney who would increase the settlement value and force litigation.
  2. The statute of limitations: This is a deadline in which the victim must file the lawsuit. The statute of limitations varies state by state. In Ohio, the statute is one-year, and can begin, either when the injury is (or should have been) discovered, or when the doctor/patient relationship for said condition ends, whichever comes later.
  3. What can you do to protect yourself from medical malpractice? Do research and document your symptoms to fully understand your overall health condition before the operation. Also, don’t let the medical system intimidate you. Speak up and advocate that you deserve to receive the best care. Trust your nurse, doctor and health-care provider, but also listen to your body. If you sense anything is wrong or something feels off, do whatever you can to notify your nurse, doctor or health-care provider.
  4. Why are some legitimate medical malpractice cases discarded? There are numerous reasons why someone would not choose to pursue their claim. They could fear that if they do claim negligence they’re doctor won’t treat them anymore. Others worry that the claim will cause their medical care costs to rise, but It won’t.

Do understand that while a licensed medical malpractice attorney can be very helpful, medical malpractice claims can be very expensive to pursue and over 80% of the lawsuits end with no payout. Do your best to fully understand the extent of your injuries before considering  to pursue a medical malpractice suit.

Your health is too important, make sure your health-care provider is someone you fully trust. You may love a certain doctor, but if that trust dwindles, it’s time to switch.

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Law Offices of Raymond J. Slomski, P.C.

2929 North Central Avenue Suite 700 Phoenix, AZ 85012 Phone: 602-635-7603 Fax: 602-230-8707 Phoenix Law Office Map