Medical errors are the third-leading cause of death in the United States after heart disease and cancer, causing more than 250,000 deaths per year, according to the U.S. News. Even when medical malpractice does not result in death, victims are often left with debilitating, life-altering conditions that greatly impact their quality of life. Sadly, many of the injuries caused by medical negligence are long-lasting and sometimes permanent.
If you've fallen victim to medical malpractice, seek legal help. "Medical malpractice claims can help injured victims and their families recover damages for past and future medical expenses, loss of wages and even pain and suffering, states Thomas J. Henry. "These types of claims can seem overwhelming and difficult to pursue, especially when dealing with a new injury or illness that may be causing you an exorbitant amount of physical and financial pain." Having a great attorney on your side when you have been harmed can be invaluable.
Whether it is a misdiagnosis, a delayed diagnosis, a childbirth injury, medication error, anesthesia error or surgery error, you may be entitled to compensation. According to Thomas J. Henry, if you identify with one or more of these, then the next step is to ask yourself these four questions:
- Did a doctor-patient relationship exist? This means you actually hired the doctor. For example, if you ask your friend who knows a doctor to ask for medical advice, you cannot file a claim against that doctor because he or she never treated you. In this case, no doctor-patient relationship actually existed.
- Was the doctor negligent? Was the doctor not reasonably skillful and careful in your diagnosis or treatment? You must be able to show the doctor caused you harm in a way a competent doctor, under the same circumstances, would not have.
- Did the doctor's negligence cause the injury? It must be proven it was the doctor's negligence, not a pre-existing condition, that caused you harm. The patient must show that it is "more likely than not" that the doctor's incompetence directly caused the injury. This is where it helps to have a medical expert involved in your case.
- Did the injury lead to specific damages? Even if it is clear the doctor performed below the expected standards in his or her field, the patient can only sue for malpractice if the injury led to actual harm. For example, if a doctor incorrectly prescribed a medication, but there were no adverse side-effects, pain, or complications, it would be reasonable to say it would be impractical to file a medical malpractice suit. Damages that can form the basis of a claim may include physical pain, mental anguish, additional medical bills or lost work and lost earning capacity.
If you can say "yes" to one or more of these questions, or even if you only think you might have a case, contact Thomas J. Henry for a free consultation. The firm has a proven track record of winning large cases for severely injured clients for more than 25 years, with recent medical malpractice payout results falling between $10.9 million and $12.7 million.
In 2017, there was over $3.8 billion paid out in medical malpractice claims nationwide, states Diedrich Healthcare. Don't let your compensation pass you by. Contact Thomas J. Henry to help you get your claim started today.