Medical malpractice is a huge problem in the United States. Part of the blame should be on those who drafted some of the worst laws in the healthcare industry; namely that many of our healthcare providers must work twelve hour shifts for three days one week, and four days the next, or the asinine concept of mandation — that you must work overtime when your employer asks. These laws try to protect the patient, but sometimes all they do is more damage.
We expect our healthcare providers to help more than they hurt, which is why we need to address this issue through the law. In New York, there are only about 85 medical malpractice claims paid out in the average year, per every million residents. That means people aren’t protecting themselves in court as often as they could, and courts aren’t siding with those who do as often as they should. Sometimes the statute of limitations has passed, but that isn’t always the case. Here are a few of the most common signs of a serious medical malpractice event:
- Consent. If your doctor decides your life is in serious danger, he may perform a procedure without your consent. But when your doctor fails to obtain consent for a routine procedure performed under non life-threatening conditions, you have a medical malpractice lawsuit whether the operation went flawlessly or not.
- Post-Op Pain. When you have lasting, atypical pain after a surgical procedure, it may be the result of medical malpractice. Surgeons have been known to leave instruments inside their patients, so it might be time to seek a second opinion!
- Admission. Not all doctors who make mistakes will try to hide it, and while we give them credit for doing the right thing, it doesn’t mean that you aren’t entitled to compensation for whatever mistakes were made. Sit down to a free consultation with a lawyer to decide whether or not you want to pursue a lawsuit.
- Anesthesia. Many medical malpractice lawsuits are the result of a patient waking up during surgery. This isn’t always worthy of a case, because the anesthesiologist’s job is extremely difficult and requires calculating the right amount of anesthesia for a patient depending on complicated factors like weight, age, prescription drugs or supplements, smoking, and alcoholism. The list goes on. But if you wake up during surgery, the experience can be traumatic.
- Misdiagnosis. This is a big one, because it can lead to incorrectly prescribed medications as well. First, the undetected disease can become much worse, even life-threatening, while you make repeated trips to the doctors. Second, wrongly prescribed medications can have a detrimental effect on your health or even make your condition worse.