Personal injury lawyers are so important today because they handle so many types of cases involving serious physical and emotional injury. These legal professionals often work as employment lawyers, handling discrimination in the workplace and violations of safety labor laws, or as car accident attorneys, standing up for the victims and victims’ families after a serious car crash has occurred.
But one of the most important issues that personal injury lawyers also handle — and one that seems to get significantly less attention — is the problem of medical malpractice. Here are a few basics about what medical malpractice lawsuits are, and why people turn to personal injury lawyers for help:
- Medical malpractice lawsuits occur when a medical professional (usually a doctor) causes, or fails to prevent, physical and/or psychological harm to a patient due to negligence. The difference between a failed treatment option and a medical malpractice case is whether or not the injury could have been prevented, had the doctor administered better care using the education, experience, and equipment/medications available.
- Medical malpractice cases don’t always result in death, although it’s estimated that about 80% of these cases do result in extremely serious and potentially fatal injuries, and anywhere from 44,000 to 98,000 American patients die in hospitals each year because of medical errors that could have been prevented. When this occurs, the family of the victim can file a lawsuit against the doctor/medical practice, although it’s estimated that about seven out of eight families choose not to pursue legal action. The monetary compensation given in these cases usually isn’t the main concern; rather, many families simply wish to make sure that the faulty treatment doesn’t continue and harm other patients.
- The reason why families and victims of medical malpractice cases turn to personal injury lawyers for help is because the lawsuit itself tends to be very expensive, and the defendant can end up paying millions of dollars in one lawsuit for a small mistake. The legal process involved is very complicated and drawn-out.
Ultimately, if you believe that you or someone you know has been the victim of a medical mistake that could have been prevented — no matter how serious the resulting injury may be — it’s certainly worth your time to consult a legal expert for advice. Although the injury may be impossible to fix, and although monetary compensation can never really cover the costs of emotional and psychological distress, filing a medical malpractice lawsuit will ensure that you have the money you need for further (and better) treatments, and it could protect the lives of countless future patients as well.