Most people would be surprised to know that medical errors rank as the third leading cause of death in the United States. This is according to a most recent study by Johns Hopkins Medicine concluding that more than 250,000 Americans die each year from medical mistakes.1 When viewed on the Center for Disease Control’s official list of causes of death, this puts medical mistakes just behind heart disease and cancer which each took about 600,000 lives in 2014. It even puts this category in ahead of respiratory disease, which caused about 150,000 deaths. The death counts from medical errors could be higher as home and nursing home deaths were not counted in the total.
Medical mistakes leading to death can vary. Sometimes, surgical complications go unrecognized and other times, there are mix-ups in the types of medical patients receive. Also, mistakes can come from communication breakdowns, diagnostic errors and poor judgment, not to mention fragmented medical care. So, the issue of medical negligence is a very big one for most Americans who place their trust in their medical providers and institutions.
Typically, doctors and hospitals don’t say their sorry when they make mistakes that cause serious harm or even death. Oftentimes, we are asked by clients to review claims of injury resulting from hospital settings and other times, by physicians who make mistakes in diagnosis and treatment.
For us as lawyers, we can help our clients by providing evaluations of those cases where clients are seriously hurt. These claims generally result from a departure from acceptable medical standards and procedures. They are often associated with major injury or harm and even death. As lawyers, we pay particular attention to the issue of causation or establishing a clear connection between the harm caused and the medical or hospital mistake.
If you have been injured due to a medical or hospital mistake, talk to your lawyer as soon as possible as there are time limits for the commencement of claims. There is a much shorter time limit for claims against municipal hospitals and other requirements.