Fact…….. According to the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), medical negligence is the third leading cause of death in the U.S.—right behind heart disease and cancer.
In 2012, over $3 billion was spent in medical malpractice payouts, this equates to one payout every 43 minutes. Unnerving isn’t it?
What can you do to avoid becoming an unfortunate part of these statistics? James Parrish, founder of The Parrish Law Firm recommends that: You need to learn to become your own, best health-care advocate.
Named as one of Virginia’s “Top 10 Personal Injury Lawyers in 2014,” seasoned trial attorney, Jim Parrish has successfully resolved several Medical Malpractice cases for his clients and continues with his efforts to seek justice for victims of medical negligence.
What is the legal definition of medical malpractice?
Medical malpractice is the failure of a medical professional to follow the accepted standards of practice of his or her profession, resulting in harm to the patient. Usually, proof of failure to comply with accepted standards of medical practice requires the testimony of someone with expertise in the area of medical practice. Additionally, some states have special evidentiary rules applicable to malpractice claims.
How do you determine if someone is the victim of medical negligence?
A malpractice claim may be valid if a provider’s negligence causes injury or damages to a patient. Experiencing a negative outcome isn’t always proof of medical negligence. Sometimes health-care providers will tell a patient that the patient has received negligent medical care from a previous health-care provider and presumably in attempting an effort at complete honesty, will maybe tell a patient that they, the health-care provider, have made a mistake. A tragic, but perfect example of Medical Malpractice is that a patient went into the hospital in need of having one arm amputated. During this patient’s surgery, the wrong arm was removed.
Your health-care provider may offer a quick, sincere “apology” with the hope of preventing a future claim. They may also be hoping for an opportunity for a settlement without finding their way into litigation. Insurance companies will typically want to settle with the injured person if they can. When the insurance company settles with the person, they may well settle without the full extent of the injuries being disclosed and from hiring an attorney who may very well be able to reach a higher settlement value with representation.
It is important to know that the prosecution of medical malpractice cases are likely to fail and they are stressful and time consuming. A good estimation is that medical malpractice occurrences kill in the neighborhood of 200,000 patients in the U.S. each year. Approximately 15% of the personal-injury lawsuits filed in the U.S. each year involve medical-malpractice claims, close to 80% of those lawsuits will end with no payment to the injured patient or their survivors.
Consequently, most experienced medical malpractice attorneys will not pursue a case unless the injuries and damages documented in the records—after they’ve been reviewed by an expert in the pertinent specialty—are substantial and justify it. The Medical Malpractice Attorneys who are knowledgeable and seasoned will not take a Medical Malpractice case unless the damages and injuries have been reviewed by an expert and they declare the injuries are justified and true.
(Check back tomorrow for Part 2 of Medical Malpractice Facts)
The Parrish Law Firm Medical Malpractice Lawyer works with Northern Virginia residents who have been injured because of another party’s negligence and are looking for fair compensation. Contact us today for a free case consultation or call us at 703-906-4229.
A representative of the Parrish Law Firm, PLLC researched and wrote this article with Mr. Parrish’s consent. If you have any questions regarding the legal implications of what you have just read, please send us your question by clicking here so we can have our attorney review it.