Medical malpractice is the third leading cause of death in the United States. According to the Journal of the American Medical Association, medical malpractice sits just behind cancer and heart disease. Billions of dollars are spent each year in medical malpractice payouts.
Medical malpractice is a huge issue across the entire United States, but what does medical malpractice mean exactly? And how do you know if you’re a victim of it?
Medical malpractice can be claimed when a doctor or other professional healthcare provider (technician, nurse, etc.) does something, or fails to do something, that results in injury or harm to a patient. Medical malpractice can be divided into two parts: actions that cause harm, and failure to take action, which results in injury or harm. Failing to act is referred to as medical negligence, and it constitutes medical malpractice as well.Defining Medical Malpractice
Simply put, medical malpractice is any error or mistake on behalf of a medical professional that results in harm to a patient.
Medical treatments can become extensive, and medical mistakes or omissions can happen at any stage. Some of the most common examples of medical negligence are erroneous diagnosis for an illness, failure to provide proper treatment, or providing the wrong medication. Similar errors and failures on the part of your physician can violate what is known as the standard of care.
The standard of care consists of generally accepted methodologies used by medical professionals. These dictate the minimum standard set by other medical professionals in the area that treat patients with similar conditions and circumstances. Other aspects that can contribute to the accepted standard of care are age, occupation, geographic location, and gender.
If you have proof that your healthcare provider did not adhere to the standard of care when treating your condition, you may have a reasonable medical malpractice case in your hands. You can then seek the expertise of an experienced medical malpractice attorney.
Medical malpractice claims can be filed when your physician’s treatments or actions cause injuries or harm to you. For instance, nerve damage following a procedure, leaving medical equipment inside you after an operation, brain damage following a procedure, or worsening a condition with treatment.
There are two items that you need to prove in order to file a medical malpractice claim. First, that your doctor or medical professional made a mistake. Second, that you were harmed or injured by that mistake.
Unfortunately, most medical facilities and physicians are protected by insurance policies. These are designed to safeguard them from medical malpractice claims at all costs. When you file a medical malpractice claim, the insurance company is the one that opposes your claim and tries to disprove both factors, not the provider.
Medical malpractice claims are long, complicated legal procedures. It’s always best to have the assistance of an experienced attorney. In order to win the case, you must prove that the harm and injuries sustained were caused by negligence. This is usually the most complicated part of the claim, because you will need the assistance of at least one expert witness (usually another qualified medical expert) that can confirm the error caused the injury.
Our team of professional attorneys at Russell and Hill, PLLC have years of experience handling medical malpractice claims in both Oregon and Washington. We work on a strict contingency fee basis. In other words, we will front most of the fees needed to file the claim, and we will not charge any attorney’s fees unless you win the case. Once we win the case, we will collect the fees and reimbursement for the expenses paid from a percentage of the money earned on from the case.
If you have suffered injuries or harm due to medical malpractice, contact Russell and Hill today. Having an experienced attorney handling your case will get you the compensation you deserve to cover medical bills, pain and suffering, lost wages, and other losses.