July Is Medical Malpractice Awareness Month
Medical error is the 3rd leading cause of death for adults in America, according to a 2016 study at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. Yet most people remain unaware that medical malpractice is so pervasive, even in our advanced healthcare system.
To help raise awareness about the problem of medical malpractice, the National Medical Malpractice Advocacy Association (NMMAA) has declared that the month of July is Medical Malpractice Awareness Month. As experienced personal injury attorneys, our team at The Donnelly Law Firm can help you identify the signs of medical malpractice when you or your loved ones have been seriously injured.
In this post, we’ll discuss the most common forms of medical error – and how you can take action to pursue justice.
Common Forms of Medical Malpractice
Although most doctors, nurses, and medical professionals strive to deliver the best care for their patients, the unfortunate truth is that they’re only human. In some cases, that imperfection can lead to life-altering injuries and even death for patients, especially when the physician has been reckless or careless on the job.
This is why New Jersey law allows for citizens to bring medical malpractice lawsuits: To ensure that injured patients and their families don’t have to take on the terrible costs of a physician’s error. From corrective medical treatments to lost future wages, you can pursue damages from a healthcare provider whenever they have violated the “standard of care” that a reasonable doctor would have applied.
Here are some of the most common types of medical error:
- Prescription and medication errors: In the hectic environment of a hospital or doctor’s office, pharmacists and doctors may give incorrect dosages of medication, or fail to notice fatal medication allergies on a patient’s record.
- Birth injuries and errors during childbirth: The United States is currently going through a maternal health crisis, with higher maternal mortality rates than any other developed country. Both mother and baby can be severely injured if a doctor performs an unnecessary C-section, or uses surgical tools like forceps without care.
- Misdiagnosis and failure to diagnose: It’s believed that misdiagnosis is the top cause of medical malpractice. By delaying a serious diagnosis, or performing incorrect treatments for your condition, physicians can put your life at grave risk.
- “Never” events during surgery: Although it’s relatively rare, surgeons sometimes leave behind operating tools in patient’s bodies, or operate on the wrong site altogether. Both of these horrifying scenarios are considered “never” events, and can make the physician liable for any injuries.
- Hospital-acquired infection or sepsis: When instruments are not regularly sanitized, patients may develop life-threatening infections during a hospital stay. The CDC estimates that 1 in 31 patients per day develop a healthcare-related infection.
- Premature hospital discharge: Patients who are sent home from the hospital too early may sustain infections, or develop dangerous reactions to their treatments.
- Failure to monitor: Nurses who are negligent may not pay proper attention to your vital signs or symptoms, leading to aggravated conditions and injury risks. They can be held accountable for failure to monitor their patients.
- Lack of informed consent: Doctors must inform you of your legal rights before a treatment or procedure that could put you at risk. If they fail to obtain consent, they can be held accountable for any injuries resulting from these procedures.
How Do I Pursue a Medical Malpractice Claim?
While you are legally allowed to bring a medical malpractice claim against a healthcare provider, it can be difficult to prove these cases in practice. Because these cases are so technically demanding – and because physicians are often supported by a strong legal defense team – it can feel daunting to make a claim for medical malpractice.
That’s why it’s critical to hire an experienced attorney to stand by your side. When you call The Donnelly Law Firm, we’ll apply over half a century of legal experience to show the truth of your claim, and seek the fair compensation that you deserve. With a senior partner who has spent over 35 years just on medical malpractice claims, we have the knowledge and the expertise to demonstrate when providers have not met the standard of care.
To speak to one of our attorneys, call (800) 398-1866 today. We offer free case evaluations.