Every year, medical malpractice kills or seriously injures hundreds of thousands of people. The statistics are staggering. It has been estimated that as many as 98,000 people die every year due to medical malpractice. According to the American Trial Lawyers Association, if the Centers for Disease Control were to include medical malpractice as a category, these statistics would make it the sixth leading cause of death in America.
Other studies indicate that there are 15 million incidents of medical harm each year and that as many as 40 wrong site, wrong side and wrong patient procedures happen every week in America.
When we seek medical care, we are placing ourselves in the care of the “experts.” Medical professionals hold themselves out to the community as skilled and competent in their particular areas of expertise. A patient places him or herself in the care of the doctor, nurse, or other provider because he expects the health care provider to possess reasonable care, skill, and learning–to be familiar with the applicable medical standards and protocols—and to exercise that skill in a reasonably competent manner. However, sometimes doctors and hospitals fail to live up to this expectation and the patient suffers the consequences.
One-in-three Americans say that they or a family member has experienced a medical error, and one- in-five say that a medical error has caused either themselves or a family member serious health problems or death. Despite these staggering statistics, studies show that only 2% of people who have suffered from medical malpractice actually file a lawsuit and seek compensation for their injuries.
If you suspect you or a loved one has been a victim of medical malpractice, do not hesitate to contact me for a free, confidential assessment of your case.
A. David Freeman, Esquire is an Ingerman & Horwitz, LLP associate who specializes in medical malpractice and other personal injury cases in the state of Maryland. You can “circle” him on Google+ or reach him with questions at 410-539-1200.