All medical professionals have a moral and legal responsibility to provide an acceptable level of care to their patients. When this duty is not upheld, people can get hurt – or worse.
Failure to meet these standards is known as medical malpractice and is a serious problem in the United States. Just take a look at some of these shocking statistics:
- Nearly 100,000 patients die from medical negligence every single year.
- Roughly 12,000 medical malpractice claims were filed in 2014.
- Nearly 50% of victims in medical malpractice suffered a permanent injury. 31% died.
- Treatment errors and other mistakes are only reported by hospitals 14% of the time.
- Surgery errors accounted for 34% of all inpatient medical malpractice lawsuits. On the outpatient side, errors in diagnosis made up 46% of claims.
OBGYNs were the most common type of health care provider charged with medical malpractice, followed by general surgeons and primary care physicians.
The average patient waits 16.5 months before filing a claim, and another 27.5 months to reach a resolution.
The average compensation awarded for medical malpractice is around $485,000.
Total payouts in 2014 were $3.89 billion dollars.
In order to establish medical malpractice in a court of law, four elements must be proven true:
- the existence of a patient-doctor relationship
- the provision of care that fell below the accepted medical standard
- quantifiable harm to the patient
- a connection between the provider’s negligence and the patient’s harm
A qualified medical malpractice lawyer can help you make your case and recover compensation for your damages.
Do you think you or someone you love has suffered from medical malpractice? If you live in North Carolina or South Carolina, the medical malpractice attorneys at Stewart Law Offices are available for consultation. Contact us online, or call (803) 408-7352 to get started.