According to the Journal of the American Medical Association, medical negligence is the third leading cause of death, after heart disease and cancer, in the United States.
More than 3 billion dollars was spent, in 2012, in payouts for medical malpractice. To avoid becoming a medical malpractice statistic, you need to become your own best health-care advocate.
A medical malpractice claim exists when a health-care provider’s negligence causes injury or damage to a patient. It is important to point out that medical malpractice cases can be expensive, stressful and time consuming to prosecute and sometimes with no payment to the patient or their survivors.
A legal professional will review the details of the case and determine if there is a statute of limitations preventing a lawsuit from being filed.
What should patients do to reduce the risk of experiencing medical malpractice?
- Be proactive about medical care and their condition
- Research and document symptoms
- Question the doctor or surgeon until they get an answer they understand
- Speak up
- Have a family member go to appointments
- Get a copy of test results
- Get a second opinion
- Don’t be afraid to change health-care providers