Medical malpractice is sadly one of the most common causes of death in the United States, causing devastating consequences for them and their families. We hear these types of cases a lot in Indiana, often occurring when a healthcare provider deviates from the recognized “standard of care” in the treatment of a patient.
This standard of care is defined as what a reasonably prudent medical provider would or would not have done under the same or similar circumstances. It’s stated in the Indiana Code to protect patients and ensure the healthcare industry properly adequate their standards in favor of the people.
But often, the circumstances behind medical malpractice cases are not clear, making patients wonder whether they have been victims of negligence or not. In this article, we delve into the top causes of medical malpractice across the country, that also affects Indiana patients who suffered from a bad treatment or preventable errors.
Misdiagnosis, or delayed diagnosis, is a significant concern in the medical industry and a leading cause of medical malpractice claims. When a doctor incorrectly diagnoses a condition, it can lead to unnecessary or incorrect treatments, potentially causing harm to the patient.
Diagnostic errors, as reported by a study in the BMJ Quality & Safety Journal, play a role in roughly 10% of patient deaths. The gravity of misdiagnosis becomes particularly stark in time-sensitive treatment scenarios, such as those seen in cancer misdiagnosis cases.
Also, research indicates that over 400 thousand American patients become permanently disabled each year due to being diagnosed with the wrong conditions.
The consequences of misdiagnosis are far-reaching. It can lead to delayed or inappropriate treatment, unnecessary hospitalization, and increased healthcare costs. Moreover, it can cause significant emotional distress to patients and their families, who may lose trust in the healthcare system.
2. Surgical Errors
These mistakes can range from operating on the wrong body part to leaving surgical instruments in the patient’s body, causing significant harm and potentially leading to death.
According to recent studies, more than 4,000 surgical errors occur each year in the United States. These errors, often referred to as “never events” because they are preventable and should never occur, can have devastating consequences for patients.
The most common surgical errors cases include these damages:
- Wrong-site surgery
- Wrong procedure
- Wrong patient
- Foreign objects left in the body
- Anesthesia errors
The impact of surgical errors can be life-altering, leading to physical pain, emotional trauma, additional medical expenses, and lost income. Sometimes, these errors can also lead to long-term or permanent disability.
3. Medication Errors
Medication errors are among the most common medical errors, harming millions of people annually. The financial cost of these errors, in lost income, disability, and healthcare costs, is estimated to be exorbitated, not including the additional costs associated with malpractice lawsuits.
This type of medical negligence can lead to overdose, delayed care, or other medical complications that are either temporary or permanent. In the most extreme cases, we have assisted with cases of wrongful death due to medication errors such as administering the wrong medication, administering the wrong dose of medication, and mislabeling medication.
4. System Failure
System failure is another significant contributor to medical malpractice cases in the country. These failures often arise from issues within the healthcare system itself, such as poor communication, inadequate staffing, and lack of proper protocols or adherence to them.
A study published in the Journal of Patient Safety estimates that each year, between 210,000 and 440,000 patients who go to the hospital for care suffer some type of preventable harm that contributes to their death, many of these being due to system failures.
5. Healthcare-Associated Infections
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), HAIs represent a considerable burden on the healthcare system.
HAIs can be caused by bacteria, fungi, viruses, or other, less common pathogens. The most common examples of this type of medical malpractice include central line-associated bloodstream infections, catheter-associated urinary tract infections, and surgical site infections.
Infections acquired in healthcare settings can have a profound impact on patients. They not only prolong hospital stays but also increase the risk of severe health complications and even death.
Medical Malpractice in Indiana: How to find justice?
Indiana has established laws and procedures to address these claims and safeguard patients’ rights. The Indiana Medical Malpractice Act serves as the cornerstone of this legal framework, providing a pathway for victims of healthcare negligence to seek compensation.
Before you can proceed with a lawsuit in court, the Act mandates a review by a medical panel. This panel evaluates whether the healthcare provider in question deviated from the accepted standard of care.
This step is instrumental in filtering out baseless claims, ensuring that only legitimate cases move forward.
How to Claim Compensation After Suffering From Medical Negligence in Indiana
If you’ve fallen victim to medical malpractice in Indiana, your journey toward justice begins with consulting a personal injury attorney who specializes in local malpractice cases. These legal professionals are well-versed in the intricacies of these claims and can provide invaluable guidance as you navigate this complex process.
The core of your claim hinges on establishing the negligence of the healthcare providers involved. This involves demonstrating that they deviated from the accepted standard of care, resulting in your injury. Building a robust case requires a careful collection and analysis of evidence, a task your attorney is equipped to handle.
Your attorney will assist in gathering all pertinent medical records, securing expert testimonies, and collating any other evidence relevant to your case. This comprehensive body of evidence serves to substantiate your claim, providing a solid foundation for your lawsuit.
At Christie Farrell Lee & Bell, we can help you negotiate with insurance companies and healthcare institutions in your favor. We know this process is often hard -especially if you are healing from injuries- and we’re here to help you get the justice you deserve.
Don’t hesitate to contact us to request a free consultation.