The Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) says, “Medical negligence is the third leading cause of death in the U.S.—right behind heart disease and cancer.” In fact, Americans received more than $3 billion in medical malpractice payouts in 2012. That’s a lot of dollars insurance companies shelled out to compensate for those mistakes.
Doctors are human, and everybody makes mistakes. But doctors are in the unique position of having other people’s lives in their hands, and sometimes they make mistakes that have devastating consequences. When their mistakes cause a patient to lose their quality of life, it’s worth taking a closer look at the doctor’s actions to see if negligence is at play. So what constitutes medical malpractice negligence, and how do you know if you have a case?
What’s the Definition of Medical Malpractice Negligence?
Malpractice happens when a doctor deviates from the established “standard of care,” which is the set of steps a reasonable physician would take under the same conditions. If that deviation from “standard of care” causes injury to the patient, a negligence case may be possible.
How Do You Know if You Have a Medical Malpractice Negligence Case?
It’s important to note that a bad outcome doesn’t automatically mean you have experienced negligence. But sometimes a health care provider will tell the patient that they made a mistake during a procedure, and offer an immediate apology. This step is often taken in the hopes of preventing a lawsuit, and sometimes the provider will offer a settlement right away.
Should You Accept the Initial Malpractice Settlement?
When a settlement is offered, the full extent of the patient’s injuries is usually not yet known. The victim typically won’t take the time to have a personal injury attorney review the case and make an expert recommendation. This tactic works in favor of the negligent physician and his or her insurance company. We always recommend having an experienced lawyer review the settlement offer before signing anything.
You Think You Have a Medical Malpractice Negligence Case: Now What?
First of all, consult with an experienced malpractice attorney who practices in the state where the negligent care was received. He or she should thoroughly review your case and help you determine the best course of action. The statute of limitations varies by state, so the sooner you can consult with an attorney, the better off you will be.
If you believe you experienced medical malpractice in the state of Georgia, Andrew Goldner is here to help. With over 12 years of experience handling personal injury and malpractice cases, the firm has recovered millions of dollars for our clients. If your quality of life is diminished and you’re staring down a pile of medical bills, you may qualify for significant compensation.
Have questions about medical malpractice negligence? Click to contact the Law Offices of Andrew Goldner online.