A study published in 2016 estimated that approximately 250,000 deaths occur each year in the U.S. as the result of medical errors. Despite this alarming statistic, medical malpractice claims continue to decrease, and injured patients and their families are left to cope with the aftermath of medical malpractice because of restrictive laws that limit patients’ rights.
In short, medical malpractice may be killing up to a quarter of a million Americans each year, and those responsible are getting away with it. But injured patients and families still have rights under the law.
If you or your family have been injured by a doctor or healthcare professional’s negligence, a medical malpractice lawyer may be your only chance to receive the just compensation you deserve.
Is There Any Way to Prevent Medical Malpractice?
There are many ways to prevent malpractice. Unfortunately, the vast majority of those ways are under the control of healthcare professionals. As statistics and time have shown, doctors, nurses, and healthcare professionals will likely continue to commit negligent errors in the course of their duties.
Individuals may be able to prevent malpractice, though, by being diligent patients. This means asking a lot of questions, speaking up (often repeatedly) until doctors or staff address a particular pain or concern, and seeking out second opinions.
Remember, though, that while a patient’s participation may lessen the risk of medical errors it is not the patient’s responsibility to oversee their own care. Patients have a right to rely on physicians and surgeons to make medically acceptable diagnoses and treatment decisions.
What Should I Do If Medical Malpractice Has Occurred?
Firstly, it must be noted that non-doctors may not know if medical malpractice has occurred. But as patients we tend to know when something does not feel right. If you have any suspicion that malpractice has occurred, seek out treatment from a doctor in a different hospital system. For Clevelanders, this could mean switching from a Cleveland Clinic doctor to a University Hospitals doctor, or vice versa.
Next, contact a medical malpractice lawyer as soon as you are able. It can be difficult if you are unwell, caring for an injured relative, or mourning the loss of a loved one. But, due to strict laws that limit a patient’s right to file a medical malpractice lawsuit, time is of the essence. The medical malpractice statute of limitations is significantly shorter than most other tort limitations.
Finally, it is recommended that you follow your medical malpractice lawyers’ advice closely. Experienced attorneys can guide you through the legal process while simultaneously helping you receive the treatment and documentation that you need to get well and make a strong case for compensation.
Lowe Eklund Wakefield Co., LPA – Cleveland Medical Malpractice Lawyers
The law firm of Lowe Eklund Wakefield Co., LPA has represented patients in Ohio and across the nation. Experienced and dedicated, Lowe Eklund’s team of trial attorneys will fight for you and your family so that you have the best chance of receiving the compensation you are owed. For a free consultation, call today.