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Preventable medical errors rank as the third leading cause of death in the U.S., surpassed only by heart disease and cancer, as reported on Healthcare IT News. According to the Diederich Healthcare 2015 Medical Malpractice Payout Analysis, $3,891,743,050 was paid out in medical malpractice claims in the U.S. in 2014.
Patients should trust their doctors, particularly in this age of specialized and high-tech medicine. Healthcare providers have a duty to their patients to perform at an acceptable standard of care. Hospitals and medical professionals who breach that duty, causing injury and death to their patients, must be held accountable for the harm they cause.
If you or a family member has been harmed by a preventable medical error, you may be entitled to file a claim for compensation. Our medical malpractice lawyers at Morgan & Morgan represent people who have suffered injury through the negligence of healthcare providers. We have the skills, resources, and trial experience to fight aggressively for the compensation you deserve. Fill out our case review form to learn more.
Medical Malpractice Statistics
The Diederich Healthcare 2015 Medical Malpractice Payout Analysis reveals a number of facts and statistics concerning medical errors in 2014. The types of medical errors for which claims were filed were errors in:
- Diagnosis (33%)
- Surgery (24%)
- Treatment (19%)
- Obstetrics (11%)
- Medication (5%)
- Monitoring (3%)
- Other (5%)
The severity of the injuries revealed in the analysis is almost as alarming as the multi-billion dollar payout. Percentages of payout amounts by severity of outcome were:
- Death (30%)
- Significant permanent injury (18%)
- Major permanent injury (17%)
- Quadriplegic, brain damage, lifelong care (13%)
- Minor permanent injury (9%)
- Major temporary injury (8%)
- Other (5%)
Elements of a Medical Malpractice Claim
Medical care is expensive, and serious or catastrophic injuries can result in temporary or permanent disability. After serious injuries caused by medical malpractice, it is essential that you are able to recover the maximum compensation you are entitled to receive.
To succeed in a medical malpractice claim, your attorney must prove certain elements:
- A patient-doctor relationship existed between you and your physician.
- Your healthcare provider had a duty of care. The duty of care is an obligation to perform in a manner consistent with the medical community’s accepted standards, in a way that a reasonably competent practitioner in the same field would perform in the same circumstances.
- The medical practitioner breached the duty of care. To establish this element of your claim, your attorney must show that the doctor failed to perform in a way that a reasonably competent practitioner in the same field would have performed under the circumstances.
- The medical practitioner’s breach of duty was the proximate cause of your injuries. In addition to showing the healthcare provider’s negligence, you must also show that your injuries resulted from that negligence.
- You suffered damages. The medical professional who caused your injuries cannot be held liable unless you have damages, such as medical expenses, lost wages, lost earning capacity, pain and suffering, and loss of consortium (marital relations) that are the result of your injuries.
Medical Malpractice Attorney in St. Augustine
Medical malpractice lawsuits are typically very technical and complex. Even when the evidence and facts support your claim, your case may hinge on your attorney’s ability to prove that your healthcare provider’s negligence caused your injuries. Our experienced medical malpractice lawyers at Morgan & Morgan know how to package and present the case, explain the evidence, question expert witnesses, and rebut claims made by the defense.
We have a history of favorable results for our clients in medical malpractice cases, including:
- $38,750,000 verdict for failure to timely perform a C-section
- $28,500,000 verdict for failure to diagnose and treat encephalitis
- $19,200,000 verdict for medication overdose of a 26-week premature newborn
- $9,728,000 verdict for delay in diagnosing rectal cancer
- $8,600,000 for failure to diagnose tuberculosis meningitis in a 5-year-old girl
Contact our St. Augustine office for a free case evaluation if you or your loved one has been injured by medical malpractice. We can tell you if you have a case, the projected value of your claim, and the estimated time involved. No fees unless we win. Contact us now for a free case evaluation.