Medical malpractice occurs when medical standards were not properly followed. It happens when a healthcare practitioner fails to exercise the degree of skill and care that a physician in the same specialty would have used in similar circumstances. In an article published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), Dr. Barbara Starfield of the Johns Hopkins School of Hygiene and Public Health estimates that 250,000 deaths per year are caused by medical errors. This makes medical errors the third most frequent cause of fatalities in the U.S. after heart disease and cancer.
Under-reported medical errors
Several studies suggest that medical errors are in fact significantly underreported, so the actual figure could be much larger than a quarter-million deaths per year. Another article in JAMA purports that as few as 5-20 percent of medical errors are reported, making medical errors the leading cause of death in the U.S.
The difficulty in finding medical experts with the integrity to expose the wrongdoing of a peer is one of the principal reasons an experienced medical malpractice attorney is needed to help a victim of medical malpractice.
The malpractice may have been due to:
A procedure that was performed or not performed when it was indicated
A procedure performed by someone without the proper credentials
A failure to diagnose
A misdiagnosis or delayed diagnosis
A nosocomial infection (that is, caused by an organism within the hospital or medical facility)
Lack of informed consent
Whatever type of error has harmed you, a medical malpractice attorney in South Carolina will work within the medical, legal, and hospital systems to help you determine your legal rights and options.
While the medical profession is and should be, admired, we should be able to trust that our illnesses and injuries will not be aggravated by the negligence of a healthcare professional. Dealing with the consequences of a medical error can be both emotionally and financially devastating to the victim as well as to his or her family. If you or a loved one has been injured as the result of a medical error, you may be entitled to compensation that can at least mitigate some of the financial burdens that inevitably emerge.
At Thomason and Pracht, LLP, we have seen a great variety of medical malpractice situations. We have the contacts and experience to build a strong case for you. Our office in Anderson, South Carolina, Thomason and Pracht, LLP is ready to serve you. Call us today.