When you trust your health to a medical professional, you expect that your care will be handled competently and completely. Yet, every year thousands of patients receive care that falls short of these expectations. According to a report by TrueCostOfHealthcare.net, about 8,900 medical malpractice claims were paid in 2014, accounting for payouts in excess of $3 billion. About five percent of these payouts resulted from judge or jury trials, while the rest resulted from settlement efforts. Here are some other interesting medical malpractice statistics, as reported in Diedrich Healthcare’s 2015 Medical Malpractice Payout Analysis:
- Of the payouts made in 2014, 30% involved the death of a patient, while 35% involved significant or major permanent injury. Emotional injury accounted for about 1% of these payouts.
- Most claims related to incorrect diagnosis at 33%, with surgery errors coming in second at 24%. Obstetrical errors accounted for 11% of these claims, while anesthesia mistakes accounted for 3%.
Your actions can help prevent medical malpractice
The statistics show significantly high numbers of medical malpractice claims, but many errors go unreported. You can help ensure your safety and the well being of your loved ones by taking the following steps:
- Be aware of common medical errors. By familiarizing yourself with some of the common errors, you can heighten your awareness and ask your doctor questions when receiving care. Some of these errors and types of negligence include:
- Get multiple opinions. A second, third, or fourth opinion about a diagnosis or method of care can mean the difference between life and death.
- Research your doctor. With the click of a mouse, you can access a physician’s professional background, accomplishments, and reviews. Take advantage of these resources and research your physician ahead of time. Bad reviews and previous malpractice complaints can signal a problem.
- Educate yourself. When you receive a diagnosis, take the initiative to educate yourself about your condition, the treatment options, and the risks pertaining to each option. This gives you a better understanding when consulting with your physician, empowers you to ask the right questions, and, in conjunction with your doctor, reach the safest option for you.
Experienced Washington D.C. and Baltimore malpractice attorneys aggressively fight for the compensation you deserve
If you or a loved one was injured by a medical error, trust the attorneys with more than 30 years of practice experience in Washington D.C. and Maryland. The award-winning medical malpractice lawyers of Schochor, Federico, and Staton, P.A. serve clients in a variety of cases, including national plaintiffs in major class action litigation. Contact their office today at (888) 234-0001 for an initial consult.