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What is Medical Malpractice?

Published in Personal Injury on June 14, 2018.

what is medical malpracticeMedical malpractice involves a breach in the standard of care by doctors, surgeons, medical technicians, and hospital staff.

Errors and mistakes on the part of these medical providers cause suffering for patients, as the result of serious and potentially life-threatening injuries that were otherwise completely preventable.

In these situations, victims and certain family members may be able to hold these providers accountable by filing a medical malpractice claim.

Common Types of Medical Malpractice

According to studies by researchers at Johns Hopkins Medical Center, medical malpractice has become an increasingly common problem in the United States.

In addition, to potentially impacting millions of patients, medical mistakes and errors end up claiming the lives of more than 250,000 people each year.

Alarmingly, this ranks medical malpractice as the third leading cause of death in the U.S. Among the most common types of mistakes made by doctors, hospitals, and other medical providers include:

  • Medical misdiagnosis in which the patient’s symptoms become mistaken for other causes;
  • Missed diagnosis in which symptoms of serious conditions become overlooked or ignored, resulting in dangerous delays in treatment;
  • Wrong site wrong patient surgeries. The patients undergo the wrong procedure, or the surgeon operates on the wrong body part;
  • Surgical infections as the result of improper wound care or due to foreign objects, such as leaving a sponge inside the area being operated on;
  • Hospital-associated infections which often occur due to unsanitary procedures on the part of hospital staff;
  • Central line infections which occur as the result of leaving IVs in too long or failing to clean the site;
  • Medication mistakes in which patients receive the wrong medication, or the right medications but in the wrong dosage.

While new studies are calling attention to the problem, it is likely that many cases involving medical malpractice go undetected.

As doctors and hospital staff are unlikely to admit errors to avoid legal liability, it is up to patients to be vigilant about their health and to speak up if they suspect an error occurred.

Medical Malpractice In Indiana

The National Practitioner Data Bank tracks reports of ‘adverse events’ in the U.S., typically involving medical errors that put patients at risk. In 2017, they reported over 9,000 adverse events in Indiana alone, yet only 3,000 payouts in medical malpractice claims.

If you suspect a medical mistake has occurred, you may be entitled to compensation through the Indiana Medical Malpractice Act. This includes:

  • Medical expenses, which can cover ongoing treatments, medications, medical devices, and physical rehabilitation you require as the result of a medical error;
  • Lost wages and future losses in income as the result of your condition;
  • Compensation for the pain and suffering your injuries caused to you and your family members;
  • Funeral expenses and death benefits for survivors, in the event your condition proves fatal.

Contact Us Today for Assistance

At Eskew Law, our Indianapolis medical malpractice lawyers aggressively represent the rights and interests of victims and their families when medical mistakes occur.

Call or contact our office online today and request a consultation to see how we can assist you.

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