Western North Carolina Medical Malpractice Attorney
Close to 100,000 Americans die each year because of medical malpractice, according to the Institute of Medicine. That’s more than those who are killed in all types of motor vehicle accidents -- and far more than the number who die from pneumonia, influenza and other major illnesses.
In fact, if the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) were to include preventable medical errors as a category, it would be the sixth leading cause of death in America.
Some experts say we are experiencing an “epidemic” of medical malpractice. Examples of medical mistakes include:
- Emergency room delays and errors
- Anesthesia errors
- Lack of proper staffing or training
- Childbirth injuries
- Failure to treat an illness quickly enough
- Wrong-site surgeries
- Miscommunication among the medical team
- Hospital malpractice
- Misdiagnoses and delayed diagnoses
- Medication mistakes
- Leaving sponges and scalpels inside the body after surgery
- Inadequate post-operative treatment
- Patient infections received in the hospital
- Poor follow-up care after discharge
Medical Malpractice Is Widespread and Costly
Preventable medical errors kill and seriously injure a staggering number of Americans every year. Here are some statistics:
- There are 15 million incidents of medical harm each year (Institute for Healthcare Improvement).
- About 18 percent of patients in hospitals are injured during the course of their care -- and many of those injuries are life-threatening or fatal (Harvard School of Medicine).
- There were 181,000 severe injuries due to medical negligence in 2003 alone (Congressional Budget Office).
- Medicare patients who are the victim of a mistake have a one-in-five chance of dying as a result (HealthGrades).
- As many as 40 wrong-site, wrong-side and wrong-patient procedures happen every week in the United States (Joint Commission Center on Transforming Healthcare).
- Many victims of medical malpractice are never told by their doctor.
- Nearly one-half of doctors admit to not reporting incompetence or medical errors.
Medical Malpractice in Western North Carolina
In general terms, medical malpractice happens when a health care professional, such as a doctor, nurse, pharmacist or technician, fails to provide an acceptable level of care. The error can be either an act or an omission. Patients who are harmed as a result may be entitled to financial compensation.
There were an estimated 238,000 deaths due to preventable medical errors from 2004 to 2006, according to national statistics. In every one of these cases, someone died because of a medical mistake that should not have occurred. And yet in only 38,000 of these cases -- less than 1 in 6 -- was so much as a penny paid to the victim’s family.
Medical malpractice payments make up only a tiny fraction -- 0.3 percent -- of our nation’s total health care costs, according to the Congressional Budget Office. Most health care dollars go to physicians and other medical providers (31 percent); hospital services (30 percent); nurses (13 percent); and drugs and medical devices (13 percent).
A Western North Carolina medical malpractice lawsuit can help victims recover money for:
- Hospital bills
- Doctor and physician bills
- Prescription medication expenses
- Lost wages
- Lost future income
- Physical therapy and rehabilitation
- Pain and suffering
- Wrongful death
Perhaps just as importantly, a medical malpractice lawsuit can get answers to your questions about what went wrong during your medical care. And it can make sure that all responsible parties are held accountable.
Free Case Review By an Experienced Western N.C. Medical Malpractice Attorney
If you think you might have been injured by a preventable medical error in Asheville or elsewhere in Western North Carolina, you must act quickly to protect your legal rights. Strict time limits apply to medical malpractice claims. Failure to take immediate action could mean you are forever barred from receiving money for your injuries.
Call the Asheville-based Elmore Law Firm for a free and confidential evaluation of your case. We will review your medical records and find out exactly what happened. We will identify all liable parties and their insurance companies. We will call in expert medical witnesses as needed. And we will handle all the paperwork to get your medical malpractice claim going.
Call the Elmore Law Firm at (828) 253-1492 or toll free at 888-254-4880 or fill out our online contact form today. Let us put our decades of experience to work for you.
For more information:
- U.S. Library of National Medicine – National Institutes of Health
- Kaiser State Health Facts: “Medical Malpractice Claims”
- U.S. News and World Report: “Cost of Medical Malpractice in the U.S.”
- Office of Justice Programs – Bureau of Justice Medical Malpractice Statistics
- Medical News Today: “Number of Malpractice Lawsuits In The U.S. Per Year”
- American Association for Justice: “Medical Negligence: The Role of America’s Civil Justice System In Protecting Patient’s Rights”