Common Medical Malpractice Cases
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Doctors and other medical professionals consistently rank amongst the most trusted professionals in the United States. They're so trusted, in fact, that most people actually put their lives and well being into these professionals' hands. Unfortunately, negligent medical personnel can prove that this trust is sometimes misplaced, and in some instances, it's with dire consequences. Because of the prevalence of medical malpractice and the dangers that accompany it, it's imperative for everyone to understand their risk.
Medical Mistakes that aren't so Uncommon
The truth behind medical malpractice is quite disheartening. In fact, there are a reported 15,000 to 19,000 cases of medical malpractice every single year, and this is just those that result in lawsuits. Unfortunately, medical mistakes don't always constitute malpractice, and even worse, not everyone who experienced malpractice files a claim.
One of the most common forms of malpractice is misdiagnosis or failure to diagnose. Sadly, patients are sometimes misdiagnosed while having a stroke or heart attack, and this can lead to serious health repercussions. Medication and anesthesia errors are also common, and what's even scarier is the fact that an anesthesia error can be far more damaging than a surgical mistake. The saddest fact related to all of this, however, is that any of these mistakes can prove fatal.
Variance in State Law
One of the most frustrating aspects of medical malpractice law is that it varies by state. Most laws are the same in the aspect that a doctor must make an unprofessional mistake that actually causes harm, but a person's right to file a lawsuit can vary by state. In Maryland, for example, a person has five years from the actual mistake to file a lawsuit. In other states, this statute of limitations can be higher or lower.
It should also be noted, though, that laws can also vary within a state. Referring back to the Maryland example, for instance, a person's time to file suit drops to three years once they realize an injury has occurred. This can make Baltimore, Maryland medical malpractice attorneys' jobs difficult if a person doesn't immediately file a claim. This is because, once the statute of limitations has passed, a claim simply cannot be made.
Consequences of Medical Malpractice
As mentioned, many medical mistakes can result in death, but this isn't always the case. In instances where a stroke is misdiagnosed, for instance, a person could literally lose brain function for every minute that passes. Other errors, such as failing to diagnose a neck injury, can lead to permanent disability. If a birth injury occurs, a child could suffer from cerebral palsy and a host of other cognitive, physical, and developmental disorders.
When it comes to injured children, laws can once again vary. Sticking with the Maryland law, for instance, cases involving children have different rules. Baltimore, Maryland attorneys will actually have a much longer time to file a claim after a medical mistake. The statute of limitations in the state, for instance, at least related to children, may not start until the child turns 11 or 16 years old.
There's no doubt that the majority of medical professionals in America are trustworthy individuals, but it only takes one neglectful doctor to cast a shadow on an entire industry. Fortunately, those injured due to these mistakes aren't on their own. With the right legal help, they can receive reimbursement for all of the losses experienced due to a medical professional's mistake.
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