Over $3 billion of medical malpractice compensation was claimed in 2012 alone, with the number of malpractice cases increasing each year. The Journal of the American Medical Association declared medical negligence the third leading cause of death in the country. While these are disturbing facts, understanding certain aspects of medical malpractice law can help reduce the risks of injury and involvement in a lawsuit. Educating yourself on the laws and your own health situation is the best way to become your own advocate.
Because of its broad scope, the term medical malpractice can refer to many different scenarios, including misdiagnosis, medication error, childbirth injuries or failure to diagnose. However, the legal definition of medical malpractice is when a medical professional deviates from legally recognized standard of care in a doctor-patient relationship. The standard of care is the universally accepted idea of how any reasonable medical professional would act in similar circumstances. If a doctor’s incompetence or negligence caused an injury, medical condition, or death, medical malpractice can be claimed.
It is in your best interest to contact an experienced medical malpractice law firm as soon as possible. An experienced attorney will evaluate the details of your case, including medical records, may conduct interviews with significant others, friends, family members, and other medical professionals. You should choose an attorney with whom you feel comfortable discussing all aspects of your case.
Every state requires certain deadlines for filing a medical malpractice claim. In Connecticut, the statute of limitations for both medical malpractice claims and personal injury claims is two years from when the initial injury occurred. If the statute of limitations passes before you file a claim, you may be relinquishing all legal rights to file. Discuss the details of these deadlines with your attorney as soon as you are able.
The best defense against medical malpractice is to know what preventative steps to pursue before an incident occurs. When diagnosed with any sort of medical condition, research and education can decrease your chances of potential malpractice issues. Discussing any concerns with and asking any questions of your physician is vital. Many patients involved in malpractice suits claim miscommunication was one of the biggest problems encountered. It is important to clearly understand your illness, symptoms, and prognosis, and it is your physician’s duty to listen and comprehend your concerns. Bring a friend or family member to appointments for an extra level of communication.
Deciding to file a medical malpractice claim can be extremely intimidating. You may be exhausted and overwhelmed from adjusting to an unexpected medical condition, or dealing with overextended finances due to time away from work or mounting medical bills. At Berkowitz and Hanna LLC, we work to relieve some of the burden by walking you through the legal process with honesty and compassion. Our experienced attorneys work diligently to protect your rights and help you obtain the compensation you deserve. With offices serving Ridgefield, Danbury, Trumbull, and Newtown, we are here to help you. Contact Berkowitz and Hanna LLC today for a free consultation.