Medical malpractice—negligence or actions by health care providers that lead to harm or injury in patients—is more common in our country than most people realize. A 2013 article in the Journal of Patient Safety estimates that 210,000–400,000 people a year are harmed or killed due to “preventable harm” from hospitals. In 2010, the Office of Inspector General for Health and Human Services reported that 180,000 patients with Medicare died that year due to hospital error.
So if you have experienced harm due to an error or oversight by a health care professional, know that you are not alone. Here are steps to follow when you suspect that you have received injuries or lost a loved one due to medical malpractice:
- Treat any health emergencies immediately. Do not let concerns over a future lawsuit prevent you from seeking necessary care.
- Contact the health care professional who caused the problem and clearly explain your experience. In some cases, the provider may not know that there was an issue. Most doctors are honest and will take action to correct a mistake and ensure that you are treated. Furthermore, the provider may be able to correct the error before others are harmed.
- Contact an attorney. The lawyers at Hodge & Langley offer a free initial consultation to help you understand if you have a legitimate medical malpractice claim. Even if a health care provider has worked with you to correct an injury, it is still wise to speak with a lawyer about larger consequences.
- Don’t downplay your injuries or the consequences of malpractice. A child injured in labor/delivery can cost a family a lifetime of medical bills. The unexpected death of a parent can result in loss of income for an entire family. It’s important to talk with an experienced attorney to understand how malpractice may impact you now and in the future, and what can be done to protect you, your health and your finances.
- Don’t let time pass. Though the aftermath of an injury or loved one’s death can be difficult and complicated, the sooner you can address your case, the more likely that it will be successful. Contact an attorney as soon as you suspect malpractice.
The Hodge & Langley Law Firm has nearly 40 years of experience in the area of medical malpractice. We have the resources to investigate your case to determine whether or not malpractice was committed. Our lawyers will work to pursue justice from the responsible entity and compensation for you and your loved ones.