Medical malpractice refers to an act of negligence on the part of a doctor or other medical professional that endangers a patient or causes the patient’s condition to worsen.
A recent study released by the New England Journal of Medicine found that medical malpractice claims in the U.S. are not spread evenly throughout the physician population. Instead, they are concentrated among a small percentage of the doctors.
The study examined the medical malpractice claims made against 54,099 physicians from 2005 to 2014. Sixteen percent of physicians in the study had two or more paid claims against them. Four percent had three or more claims.
Perhaps the most shocking finding of the study was that only one percent of the physicians surveyed were responsible for 32 percent of the reported paid claims.
Many other interesting medical malpractice statistics were revealed through this study. For instance, the study found that some medical specialists tend to have more malpractice claims than other doctors. The study showed that neurosurgeons tend to face more medical malpractice claims than psychiatrists.
Examples of Medical Malpractice Claims
The term “medical malpractice” refers to a wide range of actions. In the general sense, the term refers to any act committed by a doctor or other medical professional that somehow harms the patient, either directly or indirectly, by failing to address the patient’s condition.
Some examples of acts of medical malpractice include:
- Failing to diagnose an illness or injury
- Misdiagnosing an illness
- Prescribing the wrong medication for a patient or prescribing an amount that is not appropriate for the patient
- Failing to follow up with the patient after treatment.
When a physician handles a newborn too roughly or fails to diagnose an injury or illness during pregnancy or birth, the injured newborn’s parents may have grounds for a birth injury claim.
This is a specific subset of medical malpractice that deals strictly with injuries suffered by infants that were caused by negligence committed prior to or during the child’s birth.
How Can a Lawyer Help Me?
A medical malpractice lawyer can help you to seek the monetary compensation you need to cover the expenses related to your injury by:
- Advising you about how to proceed with your claim
- Gathering the necessary pieces of evidence you need to support your claim
- Negotiating with your healthcare and insurance providers to secure an appropriate settlement amount for you
- Representing your case in all dealings with the court and other parties involved in your claim.
Medical malpractice cases often require a full investigation conducted by an experienced medical malpractice attorney. It is important that you work with an attorney who has experience handling the type of case you are facing because he or she will know what to look for during the investigation of your claim.
When choosing a medical malpractice lawyer in Albany or anywhere else in New York, be sure to discuss his or her experience with your type of claim thoroughly before committing to an attorney.
What You Should Do If You Suspect You Are a Victim of Medical Malpractice
You could have grounds for a medical malpractice claim if:
- Your condition has not improved after receiving medical treatment
- You feel that you or your illness or injury has been mishandled by medical personnel
- You or your newborn has a blatant injury or medical condition that you feel was caused by a doctor’s negligence.
As a prospective claimant, it is important that you first seek medical care from another health care provider in order to receive a new diagnosis or appropriate treatment. This is especially true if your first doctor’s negligence put you at risk of suffering a life-altering illness or injury.
Once you have received appropriate treatment for your injury, gather all the documentation you have to prove the validity of your claim. This can include:
- Documentation of your initial and follow-up treatment
- Interactions between yourself and your initial healthcare provider
- Photographs of your injury
- Any written statements you have received regarding your diagnosis.
Present this documentation to your medical malpractice attorney, who can then determine which other pieces of evidence you will need to prove your medical malpractice claim.
Once your attorney submits your claim, you need to continue to do all that you can to make a full recovery. Do this by following your new doctor’s instructions to the best of your ability.
Make sure to follow your attorney’s instructions through each step of the claims process. He or she might advise that you not speak to the doctor’s insurance provider without first speaking with him or her. The attorney might advise that you avoid discussing your case on social media as well.
Remember: Your attorney is working to protect you and your interests and is advising you with your best interests in mind.
Get Help from Our New York Medical Malpractice Lawyers
An act of medical malpractice can cause a victim to suffer an irreparable injury or a significantly worsened illness. In some cases, patients die because of a physician’s failure to diagnose a medical condition or to treat a condition properly.
If you have suffered because of an act of medical malpractice or you have lost a loved one due to a medical professional’s negligence, consider contacting an experienced medical malpractice attorney to seek compensation for your losses.
The losses that result from medical malpractice can quickly become significant, causing a victim or the family or a victim to go into debt in order to cover these losses.
Do not allow yourself to fall prey to the expenses that accompany medical malpractice. Instead, work with a the medical malpractice lawyers at Powers & Santola, LLP, to file and pursue your medical malpractice claim.
You can reach us today by calling our Albany or Syracuse offices or by reaching us through our online contact form. Our consultations are always free and aimed at answering your questions.