Most people assume that medical malpractice isn’t all that common. After all, their own interactions with their doctors have been fine. Yes, doctors make mistakes, but they assume most do a fine job.
This isn’t meant to disparage doctors, who do work hard. Many are excellent at what they do. But it’s also true that medical malpractice happens far more often — and takes far more lives — than your average citizen realizes. And it’s important for people to know about this when considering their own medical care.
The third-leading cause of death
The first-leading cause of death for your typical American adult is heart disease. This is largely a result of the obesity epidemic, causing heart disease to pass cancer. Cancer, however, still sits at second on the list.
Right behind that, though, is medical malpractice. According to some reports, about 250,000 people pass away every single year due to these medical mistakes and negligent errors. Some reports even go as far as saying that it may be more like 440,000 people annually who lose their lives.
Neither of these numbers will pass cancer or heart disease any time soon, but they’re much higher than other well-known causes of death, such as gun violence or car accidents.
Plus, these studies are only concerned with how many people die when doctors make negligent mistakes. Not included in those numbers are all of the people who ended up with life-changing injuries. Some are permanently disabled. Many will need care for the rest of their lives. Others just struggle to recover and regain the quality of life they used to have. Mistakes and errors take a vast toll, and they happen every single day.
What can you do if this happens to you?
If you have lost a loved one to a medical error or suffered a serious injury or complication yourself, be sure you are well aware of the legal steps you can take. You may deserve significant compensation for additional medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and much more.