Medical Malpractice – What it is And What You Didn’t Know About It?

Highly skilled medical professionals such as doctors or healthcare providers sometimes deviate from their established medical practice and can put the life of a patient in danger. Given the legal definitions, medical malpractice claim occurs when a medical professional(s) breach the standard of medical care. They chose to do something that otherwise a reasonable doctor would not have done in the same situations. Medical malpractice occurs everywhere in the world. In India, nearly 5.2million people die every year given human errors. According to the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), medical negligence is one of the third biggest cause of death in the U.S., after cancer and heart disease. Many people believe that there is a difference between negligence and malpractice. However, the fact remains that there is no difference between the two. For example, if a motorist crosses the red light, it considered as negligence; similarly, if a medical professional commits medical errors, it is a negligent act which is called malpractice. Similarly, there are many important aspects that you must know about medical malpractice: 1. How to Know if Medical Malpractice Occurred? A victim (or his or her family) can claim malpractice when the medical care provider causes damages or injury to the patient. But it is important to bear in mind that a bad result cannot always be counted as proof of malpractice. In many cases, the doctors inform the patient that the previous doctor was negligent in providing care, and at times inform that the patients themselves have committed a mistake and are responsible for it. Doctors in an attempt to avoid litigation, offer apology and settlement. Moreover, insurance companies also make settlements before the victim becomes aware of the actual severity of the injuries and hence, picks the legal way to claim the damages. Because the litigation forces the insurance companies to pay the full amount of compensation. However, as these cases are highly complicated, very few of them receive the actual compensation. Moreover, much of these cases go unreported given the likelihood of failure and time-consuming procedure. This is the reason why many of the medical malpractice attorneys don’t pursue these cases until the damages are completely recorded. 2. Is there any Time Limit to Report the Case? The day you come to know that you have been the victim of medical malpractice, you can file a claim. Given your country’s laws there is a certain time limit- also called statute of limitations- within which you can pursue a lawsuit against the culprit. For instance, in India, the statute of limitations is three years. You must file the case within three years the day you realize that medical malpractice has occurred. However, in the US, it depends upon the state laws as there is a different procedural requirement to be met before filing a lawsuit. 3. You Can prevent or Lessen the Chances of being the Victim of Malpractice: When a person knows that medical malpractice can occur, it becomes much easier to take effective steps to prevent a mishap. The patients must do research proactively to understand their current health conditions. If they find any symptoms, they must document them in order to keep the record and proof. The patients can also ask the medical care providers list of questions that they believe are very important and give their answers. Many patients feel intimidated by the medical system and don’t report the problem. You must speak up and report to ensure your well-being. Trusting your doctor or nurse is good, but don’t ignore what your body tells you. The most important thing patients should do is to visit a doctor accompanied by a friend or family member. 4. Many Legit Cases Go Un-Reported: This is a fact that many legit malpractice cases go unreported. There are many reasons for it; such as few patients believe that upon learning their mistake, the doctor will refuse to treat the patient; while some believe that pursuing a lawsuit will put a more financial strain to their medical treatment cost. And some don’t file a claim given the legal expenses associated with the medical malpractice litigation. 5. You Can Hire an Attorney: When the patient does not know what to do, the option of hiring an attorney is always open. The skilled lawyer guides the patient through the process and helps in recovering the loss for the damages. A good attorney takes a fee on a contingency basis, and advances all the fee in the case such as record retrieval fees, hiring of an expert to evaluate travel expenses, deposition, etc. the lawyer takes the fee on the outcome of the case.

Category: Law
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