We depend on healthcare professionals to treat and test us for serious injuries and illnesses, yet as many as 250,000 people die because of mistakes by doctors, nurses and other medical professionals.
Seven out of 10 Americans believe that new medical treatments are tested before being made available to the public. The same percentage of Americans are confident in advice given by their doctors and don’t feel the need to seek a second opinion or do additional research. Even when our providers cause us harm, we are often reluctant to act. As few as 2 percent of patients injured by medical negligence file a lawsuit.
The Dallas medical malpractice attorneys at Guajardo & Marks believe that when medical mistakes cost a person their life, the responsible parties should be held accountable for the damage their negligence causes surviving family members. Medical malpractice claims are complex and they require the skill of an experienced attorney who is prepared to take on the interests of doctors, insurance companies and large medical facilities.
How Medical Malpractice Happens
Medical malpractice occurs when a doctor or other medical professional is negligent in the care they provide. This means that they failed to take certain actions, notice signs of complications or performed a harmful procedure on a patient.
Mistakes among healthcare professionals can have several causes. Here are a few examples:
- Distraction during a procedure
- Failure of departments or providers to communicate the needs of a patient
- Omitting important information from a patient’s charts or records
- Failure to give a patient adequate attention
- Administering the wrong drug, treatment, test or procedure
- Giving the wrong dosage of a medication to the patient
- Ignoring warning signs of complications.
Fatal medical mistakes can be made at any point in the healthcare process, from the nurse who admits a patient to the pharmacist who fills a prescription.
Common Forms of Medical Malpractice
- Misdiagnosis – The misdiagnosis of patients is one of the leading causes of medical error. They are also some of the most harmful. One report found that 28 percent of diagnostic errors were life-threatening or resulted in death or permanent disability, per the Washington Post.
- Medication errors – The U.S. Food and Drug Administration reports that prescription errors cause at least one death every day. These errors can be the result of mislabeling, incorrect medication abbreviations, and providing the wrong directions for use, to name just a few examples.
- Communication breakdowns – As our healthcare system has become more complex and patients see more providers to receive their tests and treatments, communication is key. A communication error between professionals or departments can have disastrous results for a patient.
- Surgical errors – Examples of surgical errors include leaving an instrument inside the body or performing the wrong procedure. These errors are often categorized as wrong-site, wrong-procedure and wrong-patient surgeries. Studies suggest that 4,044 surgical “never events” – meaning they should never have happened — occur in the United States every year.
- Birth injuries – Malpractice before, during or after the birth of a child can have terrible consequences for a child or a mother. Failure of healthcare professionals to notice signs of complications is just one common example of birth injuries caused by medical malpractice. These failures can result in lifelong disabilities or even death.
When Medical Mistakes are Fatal
Fatal medical mistakes not only cost patients their lives, they also inflict incredible damages on the survivors of a malpractice victim. Families face pain, suffering, medical bills, funeral and burial costs, loss of income and other end-of-life costs. Wrongful death claims offer families the chance to hold a negligent healthcare provider responsible for the damage they have caused.
An experienced medical malpractice attorney can investigate the causes of a death and determine whether it was caused by negligence.
Guajardo & Marks Can Help
Attorneys Greg Marks and Michael Guajardo have years of experience handling complex wrongful death cases. Guajardo & Marks know that wrongful death cases involve more than just trying a case. They involve a deeper level of care and cooperation with the loved ones of the deceased.
At Guajardo & Marks, we get to know our clients so that we can truly understand just how deeply their loss has impacted their lives. We provide our clients with many ways to help cope with their loss, in addition to providing legal services. If you or a loved one has suffered from medical malpractice, contact Guajardo & Marks today to learn more about your options.