Common Misconceptions of Medical Malpractice
Many people incorrectly believe that medical malpractice lawsuits are frivolous, and that there are more suits filed than legitimate medical errors. In reality, the opposite is true. The American Medical Association reports that over 200,000 people die from medical malpractice every year, and the majority of these cases never result in lawsuits. This statistic proves that patients often don’t understand their rights or what actually constitutes malpractice. Here are other misconceptions that may be preventing victims from seeking help.
Malpractice Always Results in Death or Serious Injury
The severity of the injury is not what constitutes the legitimacy of a malpractice suit. Some of the most common malpractice suits involve misdiagnosis or delayed diagnosis, where a doctor has simply failed to identify an illness as quickly as they should have. Negligent doctors are just as susceptible to causing harm as those who make grave errors on the operating table, and it’s not always harm you can detect right away.
Everyone Makes Mistakes, Therefore Doctors Cannot be Held Accountable
No one expects doctors to be perfect, and indeed, in many cases, the error is beyond their control. In a malpractice case, the jury tries to decide if the doctor has lived up to a reasonable standard of care. Everything from being under the influence of alcohol to failing to administer the right tests can be seen as failing to meet a reasonable standard of care. Doctors are not held accountable for every bad judgment call, but they have to be effective at doing their job.
Malpractice Suits are Only for Doctors
while physician errors are the most common, malpractice suits can be filed against any healthcare professional. Nurses and pharmacists can be guilty of prescription drug errors, another common form of malpractice. Hospital staff, ambulance workers, and technicians are all capable of causing injury. If a malpractice suit involves anesthesia, medical products, or pregnancy care, a variety of different specialists or institutions could be at fault.
It’s a mistake to believe that doctors and hospitals are guilty of malpractice every time something goes wrong during treatment. Patient consent forms are designed to inform you of the risks, and unforeseen errors can happen. But many patients overlook the fact that they have serious grounds for a malpractice suit. Problems can always arise, but healthcare professionals have a duty to protect their patients from harm as much as possible.
Contact us today if you’ve experienced medical malpractice.