The Spiraling Costs of Medical Malpractice
Whenever we find ourselves with an unexplained ache, a strange symptom, or a feeling that something isn’t quite right with our bodies, we turn to the medical professionals of the world, hoping that doctors, nurses, surgeons, and specialists will be able to diagnose our problems and cure whatever happens to be ailing us.
It’s certainly true that modern medicine has come a long way, helping to extend life expectancies all over the world and improve the quality of life for so many people, curing countless illnesses and developing effective treatments for a wide range of ailments, injuries, diseases, disorders, and conditions.
Unfortunately, despite all of the advancements in the medical world, mistakes still happen, and statistics show that medical error is one of the leading causes of death in America today, with some studies showing that 10% of all US deaths can be attributed to these kinds of errors and medical malpractice cases.
Medical malpractice can be difficult to define, but if the negligence of lack of care of a medical professional or healthcare institution has led to you or a loved one suffering some form of physical or mental harm, you might have a case, and it’s recommended to take action as quickly as possible to avoid problems with the statute of limitations and have the best chance of success.
Many people make the mistake of assuming that medical malpractice costs are only associated with the actual healthcare bills needed to heal the damage that has been done, but the truth is that many other costs can start to spiral out of control and huge financial burdens can be placed on victims of malpractice, as explained below.
Of course, one of the first financial causes of concern in a case of medical malpractice is the costs of the healthcare a patient will need to receive to possibly undo the damage that has been done or make some kind of recovery.
If, for example, a patient has undergone an operation and suffered injuries due to a poor standard of surgery or surgery on the wrong part of their body, they may need additional operations to help heal the affected areas, adding more money to their final medical bills.
Another factor of consideration when it comes to situations involving medical malpractice is legal bills. In order to successfully pursue a legal case of medical malpractice, you’ll need to hire an experienced and qualified lawyer.
Fortunately, average payouts for successful claims routinely work out at six-figure sums. However, in the meantime, it’s up to patients to find the money to cover the necessary legal costs and handle the various administrative responsibilities of building their case.
In many cases, in order for a case of medical malpractice to be worth pursuing, significant damages must have been done to the claimant. This might include a misdiagnosis, surgery on the wrong site, an improper prescription that led to further complications, and so on.
In many situations like these, patients will require extensive rehabilitation and additional care in order to recover from the damages that have been done to them. This might take the form of physical therapy, for instance, to help you deal with an unexpected injury or more long-term care for treating diseases that haven’t been properly dealt with by the initial medical response.
Loss of Income
There are also many situations where those who have fallen victim to medical malpractice find themselves unable to get back to work and continue their usual professional activities, not being able to bring in the money they need to support themselves and their families each day.
This may lead to extended periods of weeks or even months in which individuals aren’t able to earn their regular salary, and there may even be situations in which a person loses their entire job due to the damages sustained by medical negligence.
Following on from the previous point, there are also many personal costs that can come along when cases of medical malpractice occur. For instance, you might find that if you aren’t working and have to cover medical and legal expenses, you’re unable to keep up with payments for rent, utilities, etc.
This can affect people in a range of different ways. Some individuals might be unable to make payments on their cars, for example, and lose possession of their vehicles, or could suffer personal relationship issues due to their lack of funds.
Therapy and Mental Health
It’s important to remember that, as well as physical harm and suffering, many victims of medical malpractice often suffer great mental distress and can struggle with long-term mental health problems as a result of the trauma and stress of their experience.
Affected individuals may find that they require long-term mental healthcare in the form of therapy and counseling. They may develop new fears and phobias of healthcare professionals or suffer stress and anxiety that affects their relationships with others and their general quality of life too, so there are many potential knock-on effects to take into consideration.
It’s clear to see that there are a lot of potential costs to take into account when it comes to medical malpractice situations, in addition to the terrible stress, pain, and trauma associated with the situation itself if you or someone you love gets hurt due to the negligence or lack of care of a medical professional you should be able to trust.
This is why medical malpractice cases can be so significant, and it’s also why it’s so important to take action when you suspect that medical malpractice may have occurred. Even if you have the slightest of suspicions, it’s always wise to contact an attorney, explain the matter, and get some answers to the questions you have.
There’s absolutely no need for any potential victims of medical malpractice to suffer silently and deal with the consequences of the situation on their own. Get the help you need and avoid falling into this costly spiral of endless expenses.