The 5 Top Medical Malpractice Settlements in the United States

Medical errors are considered the third leading cause of death in the United States. Medical malpractice occurs when a patient is treated in a manner that deviates from standard medical care. For example, medical equipment that has not been sufficiently tested before public use or if a doctor misdiagnoses a patient. Many medical malpractice cases happen as a result of short staff, untrained personnel or lack of information. Regardless of the factors leading up to the error, a medical mistake can lead to life-threatening injuries. Some of the most common forms of medical malpractice include:

One of the most common, as well as life-threatening errors, is medical misdiagnosis. A misdiagnosis often occurs because not all patients have a list of textbook symptoms. Some of the most common claims of misdiagnosis in adults include heart attacks and cancer and a diagnosis of cancer and meningitis are often missed in children. However, misdiagnosing a patient with a disease, such as cancer can lead to painful and unnecessary treatments and disability. In many situations, the consequences of a misdiagnosis can be fatal, even life-threatening, especially when the physician is spending valuable time treating the wrong illness.

Surgical Errors
There are a number of ways in which a surgical error can result, including conducting surgery on the wrong body part. As a patient, you place a great deal of trust in the surgeon and the equipment being used during the surgical procedure, yet surgical errors are one of the most common types of medical malpractice claims. It is important to know that a surgical error is not always to the result of the surgeon, in many situations the injury is caused by incorrect and/or inappropriate equipment or medical replacement parts. Some of the most common mistakes during a surgery include damaging a nerve, leaving a foreign body (such as a sponge) and/or failing to control bleeding. A surgical error can be the difference between you making a full recovery and death.

Medication Errors
There is at least one death each day and about 1.3 million people that are injured each year as a result of drug errors. Medication errors may include things such as being prescribed the wrong medication, defective drugs distributed by the manufacturer or given the wrong dosage. Almost all prescription medications come with a range of anticipated side effects, however, in certain situations, such as if a drug that is known to cause birth defects is mistakenly prescribed for a pregnant female or if someone is prescribed two or more drugs that cause harmful interactions. Medication errors can cause serious, even life-threatening injuries.

Anesthesia Errors
Before going under anesthesia, there is a host of things that must be considered. For example, the physician and the anesthesiologist need to consider the medical condition, age, type of surgery, other medications you are on and past reactions to certain anesthesia. It is critical that the patient be moved periodically while under anesthesia, if not, staying in a prone position may cause injuries to nerves. It is also essential that the patients vitals be closely monitored before, during and after receiving anesthesia. The lack of monitoring and/or giving an inappropriate form of anesthesia may result in respiratory failure, heart attack and/or death.

Pregnancy and/or Childbirth Negligence
There is so many things that can go wrong during pregnancy and giving birth. Many injuries, birth defects and deaths (mother and/or child) occur during delivery. For example, if a mother is experiencing a difficult delivery and a cesarean is delayed, it may result in a life-threatening illness known as Cerebral palsy.

Personal injury cases, including medical malpractice, are based on negligence. It is important to be aware of your rights pertaining to medical negligence and to seek legal representation as soon as possible if you suspect you have been the victim of medical malpractice. There is a statute of limitations for filing a medical malpractice case, so the sooner you seek legal help, the better it will be for your case.

Evan Shaner