In 1990, Harvard University published a now famous study of medical malpractice cases. The study is entitled, "Patients, Doctors and Lawyers: Medical Injury, Malpractice Litigation, and Patient Compensation in New York," and was published by the Harvard Medical Practice Study in 1990. It was a report to the State of New York, it was confirmed by similar studies, and was critical to the passage and implementation of medical malpractice law nationwide.
That Harvard study reported that every year, in the United States, approximately 80,000 people die because of medical error. In other words, more Americans died each year from medical negligence than from AIDS, breast cancer, or motor vehicle accidents.
When medical error becomes legally recognized as medical malpractice
Legally compensable medical error happens when there is a deviation below the accepted standard of care in the community where the doctor is located. The law recognizes a compensable injury as "medical malpractice" when complications result from improper care or treatment.
Medical malpractice happens in many different ways. Failing to correctly and timely diagnose an illness or a condition is medical negligence. Surgical errors are medical malpractice when the wrong organ, limb, or other area of the body is involved. (Plastic surgery mistakes are a growing number of medical malpractice claims.)
Medical negligence can also involve unnecessary surgical procedures. These surgeries or operations can include unneeded Cesarean sections, tonsillectomies, appendectomies, and hysterectomies. Ignoring a need for medication or treatment can also be the basis for medical malpractice.
Defendants in a Medical Malpractice Case
There is usually more than one defendant in a medical malpractice case. Health care providers that can be jointly responsible for medical malpractice under Alabama law include any doctor, nurse, dentist, dental technician or office employee, pathologist, neurologist, oncologist, cardiologist, toxicologist, pharmacologist, technician, nursing home or staff, hospital or hospital worker, and any laboratory technician. Any health care provide who makes an error that falls below the standard of practice of those with similar training and experience, and harms a patient, has committed medical malpractice.
If you or a loved one has suffered what you believe is a medical error, legal remedies may include monetary damages for medical care and treatment, lost wages, lost future earnings, and pain and suffering. Please feel free to contact the experienced trial attorneys at Fischer & Associates, LLC to schedule a free, initial legal consultation.
Our top trial lawyers are dedicated to helping the injured find justice and the firm of Fischer & Associates, LLC stands ready to help you. We can be reached locally at (205) 423-8504 or toll-free at (866) 557-8504.