As recently as this past week, the issue of the rise in malpractice cases was seen on a popular, daytime talk show. Popular TV cable networks display ads for lawyers who specialize in malpractice cases. Almost everyone knows of someone who has suffered a scary incident that did or could have resulted in a malpractice case.
The reason for this rise in malpractice cases is speculation. Research has shown a rise in the mislabeling of prescriptions causing illness or death. Others speak to the increase in misdiagnosis or delay in diagnosis, either of which could result in harm to the patient. Birth defects, cancer misdiagnosis and surgery errors all are malpractice cases “waiting to happen”.
Unfortunately, medical malpractice happens more often than we would like to believe. In a hospital, there are any number of doctors, nurses, lab techs, clerical personal and lab staff assigned to the person in lying in the bed. That means that when any staff person comes in contact with the patient, they have made either a good decision regarding that person or they have opened an area of a possible malpractice case.
As alarming as that sounds, malpractices cases are still very difficult to confirm. The burden of proof is with the injured party. Armed with that knowledge of the law, it is important that you always keep copies of any papers that you are asked to sign, and always read the fine print first. Watching for signs that something might be amiss while in the hospital could save your life.
There are many reasons to file for malpractice. Birth injury, misdiagnosis or failure to properly diagnose, medication errors and surgery accidents are just a few of the reasons to submit a malpractice claim. The emotional pain that is often present at the time of an incident may put a haze around the actual issue. For this reason it is well to remember that there is a statue of limitations that comes with each case. Each state has their own rules regarding this issue. A malpractice lawyer will know the right questions to ask.
For most people, finding themselves in this situation is difficult. They don’t understand why this happened to them. They aren’t sure if they have a claim let alone how to go about filing a claim. The process seems so foreign. The “not knowing how” adds to the feelings of anger and betrayal at having to even think about filing a malpractice case. It is well to remember that there are lawyers out there that are used to these types of emotions.
If you or a loved one is in this potential situation, it is clearly in your best interests to talk with an attorney who is qualified and experienced in the area of medical malpractice to find out if you really have a case with sufficient evidence to move forward. The attorney should be able to calm your fears and help walk you through some of the first decisions you will need to make on this journey towards filing a malpractice case.