When you seek treatment from a doctor, you expect to receive the best care possible. However, sometimes the care you receive isn’t as it should be and your condition can worsen.
If you believe you’ve received subpar care or a loved unexpectedly died after being treated in the hospital, you should contact an attorney to find out if you can pursue a medical malpractice case. Here is some information you may want to know if your attorney thinks you do have a worthy case.
What is Medical Malpractice?
Medical malpractice occurs when a patient doesn’t receive the standard level of care expected from medical professionals. Doctors, nurses, medical technicians, hospitals or medical clinics, among others, can all be named in medical malpractices lawsuits.
A Leading Cause of Death
Many people may not realize medical malpractice isn’t a rare occurrence. In fact, a published survey found in the Journal of the American Medical Association names it as the third leading cause of death in the United States.
Common Causes of Malpractice Lawsuits
There are many reasons a medical malpractice suit can be initiated, including:
- Not diagnosing a medical condition.
- Misdiagnosing a medical condition.
- Prescribing the wrong medication.
- Not giving a patient the proper dosage of a medication.
- Not informing a patient about the risks of a medical procedure.
Reasons for Not Pursuing Malpractice Claims
Many people with legitimate medical malpractice cases may chose not to pursue them because they are worried about their doctor finding out and no longer treating them. Another reason for not pursuing a case is because they may not be able to afford pursing it or they may think the cost of their medical care will increase.
Time Limitations on Claims
If a personal injury attorney thinks you have a good medical malpractice case, you should seriously consider pursuing it quickly. In Utah, medical malpractice claims must be filed within two years of the discovery of an injury. There is also a four-year statute of limitations which prevents claims from being filed if four years have passed since the injury.
However, the four-year limitation is lifted if a doctor commits fraud to prevent the discovery of malpractice or if a foreign object was left in the patient’s body during a procedure. Once this information is found, the patient’s lawyer has an extra year to file the claim.
Avoiding Being the Victim of Malpractice
It’s important to take charge of your medical care. Research any doctors you’ve been recommended to and ask them questions if you don’t understand what they are telling you. If you have been diagnosed with a serious condition, have a relative go to appointments with you.
Ask for Second Opinions
When you are diagnosed with a critical medical condition, seek a second opinion regarding the seriousness of the condition and to find out your treatment options.
By taking control of your medical care and asking questions, you can avoid being the victim of medical malpractice.
The article was written by Utah Salt Lake City Wrongful Death Lawyers at Eisenberg, Gilchrist & Cutt. You can get more info about the medical malpractice claims process from their blog post.