Individuals in Alabama and elsewhere seek medical care because they trust the expertise that a medical professional offers. However, these professionals are human, and they are subject to human errors much like anyone else. While mistakes could occur because they are simply not preventable and minor, others are due to negligence and could have a major impact on the lives of those impacted by a medical error.
In 1999, a 300-page report titled "To Err is Human" was issued. This report highlighted the concerns for patient safety as it claimed that roughly 98,000 Americans die each year because of medical errors. While the medical industry responded with the promise of reform, it is clear that medical mistakes remain a growing concern 20 years later.
In fact, current data suggests that 40 percent of patients in primary and outpatient care suffer harms related to medical mistakes and errors. Harm to patients does not only occur in hospital settings. In other words, they do not just occur when a patient is receiving emergency care or undergoing treatments of surgery. Mistakes could look like a misdiagnosis or being prescribed the wrong medication.
When a patient is a victim of a medical error, this could mean a wide range of harms. A patient could suffer new medical issues, requiring additional medical care. The damages could get extensive, as the patient not only suffers physically and mentally but they could also endure financial harm because of growing medical bills and lost wages.
When a patient suffers harms at the hands of a medical professional, this can be a very shocking and overwhelming experience. Mixed with that are the additional medical care, medical bills, pain and suffering and other losses associated with the medical mistake. Because the damages can be extensive, it is imperative that a patient fully understands their rights and options when it comes to filing a personal injury action. A medical malpractice claim could assist an injured patient not only with holding a negligent medical professional liable but also with the recovery of compensation for losses suffered.