What is medical malpractice?

When you go a Joplin hospital, you expect to get a certain standard of care in any treatment you receive for an injury or illness. That level of care should be what a reasonable, prudent physician or hospital staff would do (or not do) in treating a patient in similar circumstances.

Medical malpractice occurs when the doctor, hospital or other health care provider is negligent and does not provide treatment that meets that standard of care, resulting in injury or damages to a patient.

Of course, bad outcomes are not necessarily evidence of negligence.

According to Forbes.com, the Journal of the American Medical Association says heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States, followed by cancer and health care provider negligence. You read that correctly: doctor and hospital negligence is the third leading cause of death in this country.

Just two years ago, more than $3 billion was paid out in medical malpractice cases including misdiagnosis, medication errors, hospital errors (wrong site surgery, anesthesia errors, etc.) and birth injuries.

In cases of medical malpractice, insurers will often move quickly to get the injured patient to settle claims quickly. Unfortunately, in many situations injured people settle with an insurer before they understand the full extent of what the negligence has done to them and how they might continue to be affected for years to come. Insurers want to get the injured to sign a quick settlement before an attorney experienced in medical malpractice cases can help the person get full and fair compensation for damages.

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