When a medical error occurs, you may wonder if this is a result of negligence or if it was just an unexpected complication. Unfortunately, this fear keeps many people from seeking legal recourse when a healthcare provider has behaved in a way that injures the patient. It is estimated that 195,000 patients die every year from medical errors in hospitals, yet only 15,000 to 19,000 people will file a lawsuit.
If you think you are the victim of medical malpractice, contact the experienced Washington, DC medical malpractice attorney at Regan Zambri Long. They can explain the critical case factors and help guide clients through the process of a medical malpractice claim.
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According to Medical News Today, “medical malpractice occurs when a health care professional or provider neglects to provide appropriate treatment, omits to take an appropriate action, or gives the substandard treatment that causes harm, injury, or death to a patient.”
Common malpractice claims involve medical errors ranging from misdiagnosis, medication errors, surgical errors, birth injuries, and more.
While a healthcare provider may not be held responsible for all of the harm caused, like an unexplained medication reaction, they can be held liable if the patient experiences harm because the provider deviated from the standard of care expected in those situations.
The American Board of Professional Liability Attorneys defines the following required factors for a claim to quality under U.S. medical malpractice laws.
This provides multiple avenues for a medical malpractice case to fall apart if a patient does not seek legal guidance. For example, the doctor may have acted within the standard of care that was appropriate to the original injury/illness, yet subsequent harm resulted. Or, that the patient didn’t suffer despite this deviation from the standard of care, rendering the case closed.
In addition, there must be proof that negligence occurred. The patient or the family of the patient must prove that:
At Regan Zambri Long, our experienced malpractice attorneys and medical experts have aided medical error victims through common medical malpractice claims including:
What many patients also do not realize is that if they do not provide informed consent, such as knowing that surgery may result in the loss of limb, reduced bodily functions, or other disability, and the patient becomes injured as a result, the medical provider may be held liable.
If you or a loved one is the victim of medical malpractice, you may be entitled to compensation to cover the following losses:
In some cases, you may be awarded punitive damages if the medical provider acted in willful or malicious negligence.
It is important to know that if you follow through with a medical malpractice claim, it is likely your case will be settled out of court. However, know that if the settlement offer does not compensate you for the full amount of your losses, you do not have to accept it.
Instead, a medical malpractice attorney can take the medical provider, hospital, insurance company, etc. to court to recover the damages you need to move forward from the injury.
If you are worried that you may fall victim to medical malpractice because of your vulnerable state, there are things you can do to protect yourself.
Many people, especially older adults, will take a doctor’s word for what it is, and not seek second opinions or research their ailments. Unfortunately, sometimes that second opinion can be the difference between a positive and negative outcome.
Because of this, you must be proactive in your care. This means paying attention to how a medical provider is acting when performing a procedure, and asking questions when things don’t seem right.
It’s easy to feel overwhelmed and intimidated by a doctor. However, by being your own advocate or acting as an advocate for a loved one, you may help a misstep from occurring. So, if your doctor is not taking the time to explain things in layman’s terms, or is dismissing your concerns, don’t be afraid to stand up and demand that your questions and feelings be addressed.
While you never want to have to think you need to bring a witness with you to any appointments or procedures, having another set of eyes and ears with you at the doctor’s office can be helpful should an error occur.
Ask a loved one to attend these appointments with you, and let them ask questions, too. They may have offered insight you and your doctor missed, or that will potentially stop you from being a victim of medical negligence.
Your doctor may be a medical professional, but no one knows your body as well as you do. Be sure to pay attention to any changes in your health you may experience. If you find that you are reacting to medication, or are not receiving the proper after-care you required, speak with your medical provider to come up with a solution. And if they refuse or fail to do so, know that you did everything you could, and now the court will have to make the decision.
Medical malpractice cases are complicated and can leave victims and loved ones feeling emotionally exhausted and physically pained. But if you are asking yourself, am I the victim of medical malpractice, know that you don’t have to answer it alone.
If you or a loved one has been a victim of medical malpractice or suspects your doctor behaved in a negligent manner resulting in your injuries, the personal injury attorneys at Regan Zambri Long are here to help you secure the justice and compensation that you and your family deserve. If you believe you may have been a victim of medical malpractice in Washington, DC, our attorneys are ready to meet with you at no cost.
We work on a contingency fee basis which means you pay nothing until the case is settled. Further, we only take a percentage of your award, so you have the funds you need to recover. We believe all people should have access to legal support in their most true and vulnerable times.
For a no-obligation, free consultation, contact the Washington, DC medical malpractice attorneys of Regan Zambri Long today.