Is Medical Malpractice One of the Leading Causes of Death in the U.S.?
There’s no doubt about it, hospitals and the healthcare professionals that work there provide critical services for men, women and children with injuries, serious illnesses and other medical conditions that require skilled, expert care. And when you visit a hospital, you have every right to expect you’ll receive safe and appropriate care based on your medical needs.
But according to a report from researchers at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, all too often, medical errors occur that can have serious and even deadly consequences. In fact, according to that report, medical errors are the third-leading cause of death in the U.S. (behind heart disease and cancer), and are responsible for more than 250,000 deaths each year.
Interestingly, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) lists respiratory illnesses as the third-leading cause of death – and doesn’t list medical errors at all. Why? Because currently, the CDC doesn’t track deaths caused by medical errors; instead, it uses medical billing codes to rank the causes of death in the U.S. Since medical errors don’t have a billing code, they aren’t included in the rankings.
That’s just one of the problems associated with proving that medical malpractice or negligence occurred and caused a death. In fact, proving a medical malpractice case takes a lot of work and a lot of skill – and that’s why working with a skilled and experienced medical malpractice attorney is one of the wisest steps you can take to protect your rights.
What is Medical Malpractice?
Not every complication or issue that occurs during a hospital stay qualifies as malpractice. In order to file a claim against a healthcare provider or hospital, your claim must meet certain characteristics that demonstrate negligence.
Specifically, malpractice claims must show:
- Standard of care was not followed: Patients have the right to safe medical care. The law requires medical professionals to give the same care that a reasonably careful doctor, nurse or other professional would give to anyone in the same or similar circumstances. If care falls short of that standard, the provider may be considered negligent.
- The negligence caused an injury: It’s not enough simply to violate the standard of care; in order to file a claim, the patient must also prove that they suffered an injury as a result of that negligence.
- The injury caused or resulted in significant damages: To pursue a medical malpractice claim, the injury sustained by the patient must be significant, resulting in loss of income, disability, extreme pain or suffering, or significant medical costs, including future costs.
Have You Been a Victim of Medical Malpractice?
Not all medical malpractice lawyers are “created equal.” And because medical malpractice cases can be so complex — and so much of your life, your financial welfare and your future may be at stake — it’s vitally important to select a medical malpractice lawyer who has the skills, experience and resources to make sure your rights are fully protected and expertly represented.
The Mellino Law Firm is a leading medical malpractice law firm in the Greater Cleveland area, and that’s an honor we take seriously. We work closely with each client, gathering important information and expert testimony to develop strong cases, working hard to garner the best settlements for our clients in and out of court.
If you’ve been the victim of medical malpractice, you deserve to have the best legal representation possible. Let us help you get the compensation you deserve for your injuries and losses. Call the Mellino Law Firm at (440) 276-3535 or use our online contact form and request your free consultation today.