Medical Mistakes Are More Deadly
Than Auto Accidents But Victims Often Lose Out on Rights > Back To Top
Medical professionals kill far more people each year because of mistakes
than the number killed in automobile crashes. The American Institute of Medicine reports
that medical errors kill up to 95,000 people per year. Doctor prescription errors injure
more than 1.3 million persons annually.
Wrongful deaths caused by cancer misdiagnosis are on the rise despite
advances made breast cancer screening. The average intensive care unit patient experiences
almost two errors per day, many serious or fatal. If these same medical negligence levels
were applied to airlines, it would equal two bad landings a day! Medical malpractice
also can cause disability, disfigurement, paralysis, amputation, brain injury, or birth
The National Association of Insurance Commissioners reports that
the number of new medical malpractice claims actually declined by about four percent
from 1995 to 2000? Has your doctor told you that medical malpractice insurance rates
have risen by less than half the increase in total medical costs since 1987? The Consumer
Federation of America points out that insurance companies are raising rates because
of poor returns on investments, not because of increased litigation or jury awards.
You should not be concerned about your legitimate lawsuit driving
up malpractice premiums or driving your doctor out of business. You should think about
the findings of Harvard researchers that only one malpractice claim is made for every
eight hospital injuries. For every medical error reported, 50 go unreported. And the
Physician Insurer Association of America admits that malpractice plaintiffs drop 10
times more claims than they pursue. You do not want to be kind to bad doctors.
If you believe you might be a victim of medical malpractice, Cochran
& Foley wants you to seek the justice you deserve. If you don't, doctors are given a
green light to careless doctors to continue causing unnecessary pain, suffering, disfigurement,
permanent disability and death for thousands of people like yourself.
Medical mistakes range from prescribing a drug that is harmful, ignoring
warnings on medications, performing surgery on the wrong patient or on the wrong limb.
Among the examples of medical malpractice are:
Failure to make timely diagnoses which results in injury or illness
Failure to properly treat
Improper prescription of drugs
Failure of a nurse to share important information with the physician
Malpractice occurs whenever a medical professional fails to properly
treat a patient and that improper treatment results in harm to the patient. Additional
harm is required because your physician cannot be held responsible for your original
Because of the Michigan Patient Bill of Rights, every Michigan resident
should receive certain information in writing, such as: an estimate of the cost of services;
what is included in your medical insurance policy; who to call to make a complaint;
how emergencies will be covered; what happens if your family doctor is not a participating
physician in the plan; or why happens if you need treatment out of state.
If your health insurance requires that your physician be on an approved
list of providers than you have the right to request: information about services that
need advance approval; information about the physician's qualifications; information
about how services are paid for; and, information on prescription coverage.
The Patient's Bill of Rights also prevents a doctor from agreeing
not to inform patients of medical rights or choices. And the bill does guarantee coverage
for emergency treatment that is needed, although insurance companies and healthcare
providers may disagree about what constitutes an emergency.
When disagreements do occur about coverage an appeal may be made.
The law spells out the steps that must be followed in appeal process.
In Michigan the victim of medical malpractice has the right to bring
legal action against a doctor or hospital. A patient in Michigan also has the right
to obtain a copy of personal medical records. A medical malpractice claim must be filed
within two years of the occurrence or within six months when the negligent act was discovered.
It is important to seek legal help so that claims are filed in a timely manner.
Michigan malpractice law is among the most complex of all personal
injury law, especially in regards to the statue of limitations. Sometimes more a longer
time to file a claim is granted to persons in military service, mentally disabled persons,
Proving a medical error was caused by negligence can be very complex,
in Michigan and elsewhere. Studies have established that persons represented by an attorney
recover far more in damages than a person who represents themselves.
You lawsuit can lead to remedial action, a result that is not being
produced by the medical profession or government oversight agencies. Less than one-half
of one percent of the nation's doctors face any serious state sanctions each year. In
1999 all state medical boards in the U.S. recorded a total of 2,696 total serious disciplinary
actions -- a pittance compared to the volume of injury and death of patients caused
by physician negligence.
What do you need to know about malpractice? Medical malpractice is
simply a health care provider not doing what they are supposed to do, or doing what
they are not supposed to do. The term indicates ordinary negligence - medical negligence
by a health care provider that causes an injury.
Good medical care requires a proper response. The standard of care
is constantly improving and what was appropriate, acceptable or commonly done in the
past may not be so now. When a healthcare provider deviates from the standard of acceptable
medical care and acts negligently, any resulting injuries could be the basis for a medical
For you to win a monetary award, your attorney must prove these elements:
a doctor- patient relationship existed; the provider must breach the duty to meet the
standard of care; the breach in the standard of care caused the injury; and, there was
a significant injury or damage to the patient.
If you decide to hold negligent hospitals and doctors accountable
for mistakes made, you have taken a stop to help curb medical malpractice. You certainly
have the right to file a lawsuit against any hospital, doctor or other healthcare professional
whenever it is believed malpractice may have occurred.
If you believe you are a victim of medical malpractice, let Cochran,
Foley & Associates fight for your rights. There is no obligation for case evaluation
and no fee is charged unless a recovery is made. Click here
for a free consultation or call 800-322-5543 and ask for Terry Cochran or Lynn Foley.
The Law Offices of Cochran, Foley & Associates, P.C. is dedicated
to representing individuals and families who have suffered catastrophic losses as a
result of injuries, disabilities and death. The firm does not represent insurance companies
or corporations but instead bases its practice upon representing individuals and families.