The Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) reports that medical negligence, also called malpractice, is the third leading cause of death in the United States. The first two are heart disease and cancer. Medical negligence payouts in 2015 topped $3 billion, and averaged more than one payout per hour. Unfortunately, medical errors cause many thousands of deaths in the United States each year. If one of your loved ones has passed away due to medical malpractice, you may have legal recourse.
What is medical malpractice?
Medical malpractice includes a host of negligent medical practices that result in injury and wrongful death. These include:
- surgical errors;
- failure to diagnose;
- misread X-rays;
- improper medication prescriptions or dosage;
- improperly administering anesthesia;
- substandard care; and
- lapses in judgment and coordination of care.
There is no industry wide standard or methodology by which to measure and enforce standards of care, which contributes to increased instances of medical malpractice and wrongful death, and creates difficulties in accurately measuring statistics.
How many people die from medical malpractice each year?
According to various reports, it seems the number of medical malpractice-related deaths in the United States have been on the rise. In 2016, this number was estimated to be 250,000 – nearly one tenth of all U.S. deaths. In 2004, Medical News Daily reported this number to be closer to 195,000 per year, which is still a staggering amount. The Institute of Medicine (IOM) released a report in 1999 placing the number at almost 100,000, and calling medical malpractice and negligence a national epidemic.
These numbers are much too high and represent a giant subsection of deaths in the United States.
What do I do if I suspect medical malpractice and wrongful death?
When coping with the loss of a loved one, take the time and space you need to properly grieve. Should you suspect that medical malpractice has led to the wrongful death of your loved one, consult with a Washington, D.C. or Maryland medical malpractice attorney to investigate and potentially file suit against a negligent health care provider.
If your lawyer does determine there is actionable negligence that ended in wrongful death, you will have the recourse to aggressively pursue substantial restitution for your family.
Our Maryland and Washington D.C. medical malpractice attorneys offer thorough, confidential case reviews
If you are seeking counsel in the Baltimore and Washington, D.C. area, the attorneys of Schochor, Staton, Goldberg, and Cardea, P.A. provide skilled representation for medical malpractice claims. Our award-winning lawyers have a long history in the business and a track record of success, having recovered more than $1 billion in compensation on behalf of clients. To arrange a consultation, contact our office at 410-234-1000 or complete a contact form.