Is Your Doctor Negligent? What Patients Should Know Before Filing a Medical Malpractice Suit

Posted on

Medical malpractice occurs far too often in the United States. In fact, according to recent statistics, medical accidents are believed to cause as many as 200,000 deaths per year. This is especially alarming when compared with the annual number of all other accidental deaths, which at 98,000, is less than half that number. Medical malpractice that does not result in death can also result in injuries or illnesses that can impact the quality of life and take a financial, emotional, and physical toll on victims and their loved ones. Filing a medical malpractice suit is an option to be explored in many of these cases, as a way to bring relief. If you or someone you love is dealing with a medical malpractice problem, the following information can help. 

What is medical malpractice? 

Medical malpractice is the result when a health care provider deviates from the currently recognized "standard of care," which is defined as the reasonable actions of a prudent health care professional in a similar situation. Doctors or other health care providers who choose to use treatment options that are not recognized as meeting "standard of care" criteria may be found to have committed medical malpractice. Victims of medical malpractice, however, must be able to show that the actions of their medical care provider resulted in some type of injury or damage to the patient. 

Is there a statute of limitations on medical malpractice? 

Yes, but the actual time frame varies from state to state and usually requires that a suit be filed before the date the statute of limitations expires. When the medical malpractice issue occurred in a different state from where the patient now resides, the claim should be filed in the state in which the issue occurred, instead of the current state of residence. 

What are common causes of medical malpractice issues? 

Although medical malpractice cases can be filed whenever a patient has experienced some type of harm caused by their medical care provider, most involve some type of communication error, equipment failure, or environment issues, such as sanitation issues that cause infections. 

Patients who are experiencing or have experienced a potential medical malpractice issue while undergoing some type of health care, should consider discussing the matter with an attorney who specializes in medical malpractice cases. The attorney will be able to evaluate the specific details of your experience and help you decide whether or not a legal suit should be filed. While filing a medical malpractice suit will not remove the pain that has been caused, it could provide compensation to help with the financial burden you have endured. 

For more information, contact a business such as Bennett & Sharp PLLC.