According to the National Practitioner Data Bank, over the past 10 years more than 150,000 patients have received financial compensation for medical practice. This means that an average of more than 40 people every day received medical treatment that fell below the appropriate standard of care.
Too Many Instances of Malpractice Go Unreported
While these are astonishing numbers, what is even more astonishing is the frequency with which instances of malpractice go unreported. One government study found that as many as 93 percent of “serious adverse events” in hospitals fall through the cracks. This means that numerous victims of medical malpractice end up living with the consequences of their doctors’ mistakes without receiving the compensation they deserve.
So, what does all of this mean for you? In short, if you think you may be a victim of medical malpractice, you are not alone. If you think you may be a victim, you owe it to yourself and your family to fight for the compensation you deserve.
Common Signs of Medical Malpractice
While medical malpractice can take many forms, there are some trends that often suggest that a patient has received inadequate care. These include:
- Your diagnosis was delayed. One of the most common forms of medical malpractice is delayed diagnosis. If your condition worsens after a delay, you may be entitled to financial compensation.
- Your doctor didn’t pay attention to your concerns. Doctors often run from patient to patient, dispensing basic advice without carefully listening to each individual’s concerns. If you sought medical treatment and didn’t get a chance to explain your condition or ask questions, this can often be a sign of inadequate care.
- Your health care provider did not order appropriate tests. Your doctor should order the tests necessary to confirm your diagnosis and prescribe a treatment plan. Failure to order appropriate tests can be a form of medical malpractice.
- Your second opinion is different from your first. If you question a diagnosis and seek a second opinion, a contrary diagnosis may be indicative of medical malpractice.
- Your condition does not improve. If you seek medical treatment and your condition does not improve, this may suggest a misdiagnosis, failure to diagnose, inadequate testing, or another form of substandard care.
- You experience discomfort after treatment or surgery. If you experience pain or discomfort after receiving medical treatment or undergoing surgery, this may suggest that your healthcare provider made a mistake that entitles you to financial compensation.
What to Do if You Have Questions
Regardless of your situation, if you are concerned about the quality of your medical treatment, you are right to ask questions. Doctors’ mistakes can lead to a lifetime of medical expenses, pain and suffering, and other losses. The best place to start is with an experienced malpractice attorney who can assess your situation and direct you to medical experts who can help determine if you may have a claim for compensation.