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How Common Are Medical Errors?

In 2016, patient safety experts from the famed Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine analyzed eight years of data concerning death rates in the U.S. Their conclusions shocked the nation. In all, the study calculated that more than a quarter million Americans die every year as a result of medical errors. This figure slots medical errors as the third-leading cause of death in the U.S. behind cancer and heart disease. (Note that this figure does not account for pandemic-era deaths due to variants of Covid-19.)

Although this death rate is profoundly disturbing, what has yet to be quantified to a degree of certainty is just how many Americans suffer non-fatal harm each year as a result of medical errors and other forms of medical negligence. As an experienced medical malpractice lawyer – including those who practice at Greenberg Law Offices – can confirm, non-fatal consequences of medical errors and medical negligence may not be fatal, but they can be profoundly consequential. Depending on the kind of error or negligence in question, patients can suffer pain, loss of earnings due to days of work missed as a result of injury or illness, significant medical costs, mental and emotional trauma, and a host of other minor, moderate, severe, and/or catastrophic effects of this mistreatment.

Legal Options for Victims of Medical Errors and/or Medical Negligence

It isn’t always easy to know if your medical provider has contributed to your harm as a result of their actions or inactions. Possibly out of ignorance of their mistake, possibly out of fear of being sued, or due to a host of other motivations, your provider may be hesitant to disclose the full extent of their missteps to you. They may not be aware of and/or admit to a misstep at all. This is one of the reasons why it is so important to connect with an experienced personal injury attorney if you believe that you may have been the victim of a medical error or other form of medical negligence. A lawyer who handles these kinds of cases can help you to clarify your legal situation and to help you make informed decisions about your options.

Essentially, if a treating physician (or other care provider) and/or medical facility provided you with substandard care and you suffered physical injuries or illness as a direct result of that substandard care, you are likely in a strong position to file legal action against those who harmed you.