Consumer Reports recently reported on a data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) that suggested 251, 454 people in the United States (US) die as a result of medical errors each year. Medical mistakes are the third leading cause of death in the US following heart disease and cancer. Like heart disease and cancer, medical errors can be prevented. But unlike the two health conditions, medical errors are the result of someone else’s negligence.
When a medical mistake occurs, both the doctor and the hospital may be considered liable for medical malpractice. Victims of medical negligence may be eligible to file a medical malpractice lawsuit when the incident results in death or serious injury. The nine most common examples of medical errors that can result in serious injury, as reported by Becker’s Hospital Review include:
- Adverse drug events
- Catheter-associated urinary tract infection
- Central line-associated bloodstream infection
- Injury from falls and immobility
- labor/birth injuries
- Bed sores
- Surgical site infections
- DVT/Blood clots
- Ventilator-associated pneumonia
Medical mistakes can leave victims emotionally and physically crippled- unable to take care of themselves and perform daily activities that many of us take for granted. However, it does not have crippled them financially. A medical malpractice lawyer can help victims recover compensation for the medical expenses incurred as a result of the doctor or hospital’s negligence. The attorney can also help secure the financial future for victims who are no longer able to care for themselves. Many medical malpractice attorneys will not seek payment upfront. Instead, the attorney fee will come from a portion of the settlement. So, many medical malpractice attorneys win only when the patient wins.
The Pennsylvania statute of limitations limits the amount of time a person has to file a medical malpractice claim. To be eligible for compensation, a lawsuit must be filed within two years after the date of injury, death or diagnosis. Anyone who believes they or a loved-one was a victim of medical negligence is urged to contact a Pennsylvania medical malpractice lawyer as soon as possible to preserve their legal rights. Failure to do so can prevent a person from ever recovering the money they deserve.
Doctors and hospitals carry malpractice insurance to protect them when a medical error occurs- just as vehicle drivers carry auto insurance to protect them when an auto accident occurs. In Pennsylvania, the doctor or hospital must admit negligence before the insurance company is willing to settle a medical malpractice claim. The insurance companies often will not settle without a fight, so it is strongly encouraged that victims retain a Pennsylvania medical malpractice lawyer to advocate on their behalf.