A St. Louis medical malpractice attorney helps injured clients that were hurt due to the negligence of doctor or other medical professional. If you have legal needs involving medical malpractice, contact a St. Louis attorney or law firm. Medical malpractice or medical negligence is surprisingly common, and with an estimated payout due to negligence happening every 43 minutes in the U.S., it is even shockingly so. While negligence can vary from the harmless to the life threatening, if you feel that you are a victim of medical malpractice, then an attorney can help you get the payout and recompense you need to pay for proper medical care and get back on your feet.
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Medical Negligence: Medical negligence is defined as any case where a medical provider including a physician or a nurse failed to offer you the medical care you needed, whether on purpose or by accident or error. Currently, the rate of medical negligence is highly disputed, as it is difficult to measure and monitor properly. In 2013, it was estimated that 142,000 people died from medical negligence globally. The Institute of Medicine suggests that around 44,000 to 88,000 preventable deaths happen each year, and around 1,000,000 people are injured or otherwise harmed by medical negligence. While these statistics are estimates, they do show the severity of the problem. The Institute of Medicine’s follow up to their initial reports suggests that latrogenesis or complications from medicine or surgery, happen to over 400,000 people per year in hospitals and 800,000 in long-term care facilities on medical drug related incidents alone. Because medical negligence is typically caused by human error, any injury, illness, or death that would not have happened without the medical care qualifies as medical negligence.
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Types of Medical Malpractice Cases
There are many types of medical negligence and any case where your physician is the direct cause of harm, mental or physical, then you have a case. The following include a few examples.
Drug Errors – Diagnosing, administering, or offering the wrong drugs is medical negligence. This applies whether a prescription is written for the drug or a nurse administers the medication by mistake.
Surgery Errors – If you suffered a side effect or injury related to negligence in surgery, you have a malpractice case.
Lack of Care – Not receiving proper attention and care that you paid for during your stay in a hospital, hospice or long-term care facility, it is negligence.
Misdiagnosis – A doctor wrongly diagnosing a medical problem is medical negligence.
Abuse – If you or a family member is abused, mistreated, or suffers mentally at the hands of a nurse, doctor, or primary care provider, it is negligence.
Errors -Human errors are estimated as one of the leading causes of death in the U.S., but can also cause injury, illness, and even debilitation. If you believe that a problem was caused by human error, such as incorrect record keeping, administering the wrong drug, administering drugs multiple times or administering drugs that interact negatively with each other, then you have a case.
Diagnosing Errors – Being diagnosed with one thing when you have another can prove to be fatal and it is cause for a medical negligence case. Common examples include being diagnosed as HIV-Negative because physicians ordered the wrong test, or as is often the case, told that a tumor is benign, when it is not.
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What You Need for a Medical Negligence Case
For a medical negligence case, you have to provide proof that the physician was in charge of caring for you or your family member and that they violated acceptable standards of care. You also have to prove that a injury, illness or mental problem was the direct result of the negligence. Finally, you have to prove that the injury was a direct result of the care, rather than something you did to yourself. In most cases, a St. Louis medical malpractice attorney will help you with the latter two points after you submit proof that you were in the care of the physician or nurse at the time of the injury. While, the more information you can provide, the better, most attorneys will also work with you to build a strong case with as much evidence as possible. This allows you to take the case to court with the highest chance of a successful ruling.
Importantly, you don’t always need an injury in order to start a medical malpractice case. For example, if you were administered potentially life threatening drugs in error, then you have a case even if you were not harmed by the incident. If you feel that you are the victim of medical negligence, you can discuss your options with a STL attorney to decide if you have a case or not.