How Common Is Medical Malpractice?

Although occasionally you may hear about a medical malpractice case in the news, you may not think your average medical care personnel is capable of negligence severe enough to merit a lawsuit. However, while some claims may appear frivolous, health care is not one of the fields in which lack of attention can be easily looked over. Physicians train for years to be the best in their fields, and their mistakes tend to have higher consequences because people trust them to know what they’re doing. Each year, around 225,000 people die from some kind of medical malpractice, individuals who put their lives into the hands of health care representatives and hospitals.

What Is Medical Malpractice?

Being unhappy with how your doctor treated you does not necessarily constitute medical malpractice. To claim medical malpractice, three conditions must be met:

  • You had a doctor-patient relationship with the physician in question.
  • The doctor is guilty of negligence.
  • The negligence caused an injury.

If you overheard a doctor giving medical advice to someone else, but didn’t pay to see them for the advice, you did not have a doctor-patient relationship at the time. Any resultant injury from that advice, therefore, isn’t the responsibility of the physician. However, if you paid to see a doctor who was negligent in their treatment, you would have grounds to claim medical malpractice. Types of negligence include failure to diagnose, improper treatment, and failure to warn the patient of known risks. While doctors are highly trained, they aren’t infallible. They are subject to the same lapses in judgment and biases as other people, but they have to be doubly vigilant to ensure those flaws are few and far between.

Every year, around 15,000–19,000 claims are filed for medical malpractice in the United States alone. If you were injured by a physician as a result of negligence, you might be entitled to compensation.

Contact one of our medical malpractice lawyers at (215) 278-4449 or fill out our online form for a free case consultation.