Your Legal Rights in Cases Involving Medical Errors and Mistakes
We go to our doctor or other healthcare provider expecting to get the care we need to recover from injuries or illness, as well as to get treatment to help us manage any medical conditions or diseases that may appear. Most of us have confidence in our doctors, hospitals, and medical staff to provide the level of care we need, while uncovering any underlying conditions which could be negatively impacting our health. Unfortunately, studies indicate this confidence may be misplaced, as increasing numbers of patients report serious and potentially life threatening medical errors and mistakes. As these errors become more common, it is important for patients to be aware of their rights in regards to filing a medical malpractice claim. While you may not be able to put a dollar amount on your health, getting compensation through a lawsuit against a negligent medical provider can help not only offset the expenses and damages you are likely to incur, it also a way to get justice and hold responsible parties accountable for the damages they cause.
Common Types of Medical Mistakes and Errors
According to a 2015 report on medical errors from U.S. News and World Reports, medical mistakes and errors have become an increasingly serious problem in the United States, resulting in untimely death for as many as 200,000 patients, while causing serious injuries for as many as four million people. According to the report, some of the most common types of medical errors include the following:
- Medication errors and adverse drug events, such as over prescribing medications, or giving the wrong type or wrong dosage;
- Giving too many blood transfusions, which can result in an increased risk of infection and may increase your odds of injury or death;
- Healthcare associated infections, caused by a lack of basic sanitation procedures which allows the spread of bacteria and viruses;
- Central line infections, which results when tubes carrying blood or fluids in and out of the body are left in too long or go unchecked; and
- Obstetrical complications, such as not recognizing signs of distress in mother or child or giving infants too much oxygen.
According to the Florida Board of Medicine, medical misdiagnosis is another common medical error. Medical conditions such as various types of cancer, heart disease and related conditions, and urological issues are the most commonly misdiagnosed.
Your Legal Rights As A Patient
As a patient, there are certain rights you have under Florida law. For cases involving medical mistakes and errors, the Florida State Statutes on Medical Malpractice state that a healthcare provider may be found guilty of medical negligence for failing to give a standard of care that conforms to the prevailing standards of other providers in the community. Your doctor or other medical provider could be liable for damages as the result of their mistakes and errors, which includes compensation for medical expenses and any future treatments required, lost wages and future losses of income, pain and suffering resulting from your injury, and future impacts you may face, such as disability, scarring, and loss of quality or enjoyment of life.
Let Us Assist You
If you or someone you know has been injured due to a medical error or mistake, contact our experienced Florida medical malpractice lawyer today. At the Law Firm of William E. Raikes III, we can advise you on the best course of action in your particular case, and assist you in getting the compensation you deserve for your injuries. Serving the entire Fort Pierce, Port Saint Lucie, Vero Beach, Saint Lucie, and Indian River Counties, our office can help; call or contact us online today for a free consultation.