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Medical malpractice statistics and facts

In one of last week's posts, we discussed some of the basics of medical malpractice. We know that our Washington, District of Columbia, readers might want to know more about medical malpractice. There are some facts about medical malpractice that some of our readers might not know.

One interesting point is that approximately 200,000 patients in this country are killed each year by medical errors. In fact, medical negligence is listed as number three on the list of leading causes of death in our country, according to the Journal of the American Medical Association. The only things above medical negligence are cancer, which is number two, and heart disease, which is number one. Despite that fact, only 15 percent of lawsuits for personal injury are medical malpractice claims.

Another interesting fact is that many patients won't pursue legal claims against a doctor. There are several reasons for this, many of which aren't actual factors. One is that filing a medical malpractice claim will lead to more expensive medical care. Filing a medical malpractice lawsuit won't do that.

A third interesting fact is that people need to seek a second opinion about their medical care. Generally, a doctor who is treating a patient in accordance within the scope of the accepted standard of care won't have an issue with a patient seeking a second opinion. A doctor who isn't might have a problem with a patient seeking a second opinion.

No matter what type of medical negligence case a person has, the first thing he or she should do is to have the case evaluated. Because of time limits, known as the statute of limitations, those who feel they have been the victim of medical negligence should have their case looked into as quickly as possible.

Source: Forbes, "10 Things You Want To Know About Medical Malpractice" Demetrius Cheeks, accessed Feb. 18, 2015

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