When a doctor negligently makes a mistake, that misstep may be actionable as a medical malpractice case. This doesn’t necessarily mean that the doctor has done anything intentionally wrong. But they have not upheld the standard of care that a patient should expect when being treated. If the patient has suffered some type of harm as a result of this professional negligence, they may be entitled to seek compensation accordingly.
An example of medical malpractice occurs if a doctor mixes up the records for two different patients. The physician then operates on the wrong patient. They thought they were performing the correct operation, but they should’ve taken more time to ensure that they actually had the right person on their table before beginning.
Concerningly, there are reports that medical malpractice is leading to an astounding number of fatal incidents every year – more than 250,000 annual fatalities. Reputable researchers name medical mistakes as the third-leading cause of death in the United States. If true, this suggests that medical malpractice is responsible for more deaths than every other cause save for cancer and heart disease.
There are some who question this statistic
It’s also worth noting that these reports do have their skeptics. There are those who say that “basic math” suggests that the numbers are wrong. They claim that, if around a quarter of a million people die from malpractice every year, that would be more than a third of all hospital deaths – including those that don’t involve malpractice. They say that this number is just logically too high.
However, the simple scale of the issue alone does not necessarily negate the statistics. Perhaps medical malpractice is just much more widespread than the skeptics believe. Those who have lost loved ones or suffered harm because of a doctor’s negligence need to be sure that they know all of the legal options they have to seek financial compensation. It is possible that holding negligent healthcare providers accountable for their missteps is all that may be needed to affect these staggering statistics.