When we’re feeling sick or get hurt, our first move is to seek medical attention. We trust medical professionals to find out what’s wrong with us and then set us on a treatment plan to help get us back to normal. But what happens when somewhere along the line, a medical professional treating you makes a mistake? Unfortunately, medical errors can lead to severe health complications and sometimes death. If you’ve been harmed because of a medical error or have lost a loved one, you may have grounds for legal action. Because these cases can get complicated, it’s best to have a Fayetteville medical malpractice lawyer from McMath Woods P.A. at your side.
Our attorneys will fight for you to get justice. While medical malpractice cases can become incredibly complex, our lawyers are up to the task if we believe you have a valid case. We have years of experience defending those who were wrongfully injured, and we can provide some peace of mind as you go through this process.
Dealing with a medical error can be overwhelming. The original problem that brought you to the doctor could still be untreated as well as the new medical issues you’re fighting because of the error. You may be missing more work than you intended and could need more medical care. This situation can be extremely stressful, especially if you’re not sure how you’re going to pay for the care you need. Your claim could get you compensation to cover those costs.
Before learning more about how medical negligence can occur and how we may be able to help you, let’s look at the issue itself.
How Common Is Medical Malpractice?
Learning the medical professional taking care of you made a mistake is scary. You may wonder how common this problem is and how many people are affected. For a while, the answer wasn’t known because medical error wasn’t a reason for death when collecting national statistics. It wasn’t recognized as a reason that someone could lose their life and therefore was left out of national health statistics.
However, a recent Johns Hopkins study looked at eight years of medical data and found that medical errors cause more than 250,000 deaths per year. This number is higher than the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s reported third leading cause of death—respiratory disease, which claims about 150,000 lives per year.
Three points that contribute to how medical errors could cause death include:
- Diagnostic errors
- Medical mistakes
- No safety nets
Medical errors fall behind two leading causes of death. The first is heart disease, which caused 611,105 deaths, and the second is cancer, which caused 584,881 deaths in 2013.
It’s important to note the researchers behind the study said that most errors aren’t because of bad doctors, but the errors show problems within the system. While each medical malpractice case will have its unique set of facts and circumstances, our lawyers will get to the bottom of how the medical error occurred. Whether it’s because of a negligent doctor or administrative error, the mistake still hurt you and cost you physical and financial damages.
What Mistakes Can Medical Professionals Make?
If you’re ever in a hospital, many kinds of medical staff may be in charge of your care. Various doctors, nurses, and sometimes surgeons access your medical chart. If one of those individuals makes a mistake, you could suffer serious consequences.
Here are a few ways medical malpractice can occur:
- Misdiagnosis/Failure to Diagnose
- Failure to Recognize Symptoms
- Surgical Error
- Anesthesia Error
- Medication Error
- Poor Record Keeping
In a misdiagnosis, the doctor may have missed symptoms and incorrectly started treating you for something you didn’t have. In some cases, they may not diagnose you at all, which could result in not immediately treating your illness. Similarly, failing to recognize symptoms is when the doctor doesn’t figure out what’s wrong with the patient and treatment is delayed. If someone comes to the emergency room and is exhibiting symptoms of a heart attack or stroke, delayed treatment could be fatal.
When surgeons make mistakes, they could perform the wrong operation on the patient. In some cases, wrong-site surgery can occur, when surgery is performed on the wrong part of the body. For example, if someone was getting a right knee replacement, a wrong-site surgery could result in the surgical team operating on their left knee. Surgeons may also leave tools and sponges inside the patient, which can cause pain, infection, and additional surgeries to remove the tools.
A patient may need to get anesthesia. However, if they are given too much or too little, the patient could experience health complications. An overdose of anesthesia can cause brain damage and prolonged unconsciousness. If they’re not given enough, the patient could wake up during surgery.
Medical negligence also occurs when people receive the wrong medication or dosage. They may suffer severe allergic reactions that could be life-threatening.
Because multiple people may be in charge of caring for a patient, the patient’s medical chart is how everyone can stay up-to-date on treatment and what the patient needs. If the chart isn’t filled out correctly, the doctor could give the patient medicine they’re allergic to or miss an important symptom.
How Can a Lawyer Help You?
An experienced medical error attorney can help you get the compensation you deserve. We’ll carefully review your medical records and find out what happened. Then, we can start to gather evidence and build your case. With these kinds of cases, you may need an expert witness to provide their professional opinion. Our lawyers will find a reliable expert witness to strengthen your case if necessary.
We’re here to fight for justice. If you or a loved one has suffered because of a medical error, you can make your voice heard. All you have to do is contact our firm today to schedule a free consultation. We’ll discuss your case and your options on how to move forward.