In a recent study that was conducted by Public Citizens, a nonprofit consumer advocacy organization, it was discovered that the number of medical malpractice payments that were made last year was the lowest it has been since 1998. Only 9,758 payments were made by medical professionals to malpractice victims in 2011, but this does not necessarily mean that there have been any promising changes to indicate safer medical treatment. The United States Department of Health and Human Services found that "more than 700,000 Medicare patients suffer serious injuries from avoidable errors every year, with fatal outcomes for 80,000 of these people."
These numbers have remained at a consistently steady rate—despite a downward trend in the number of medical malpractice payments being made in the last eight years—so why the discrepancy? Many are speculating that "malpractice victims and ordinary patients end up absorbing significant costs for uncompensated medical errors." Unfortunately, when a victim does not pursue compensation for injuries that have been sustained due to medical error or negligence, they are forced to foot the bill of any subsequent medical treatment that they receive. It seems that many injured patients are becoming more and more hesitant to pursue the matter in court, as the process may seem arduous and complex, but in the end, they are the ones who are forced to suffer the consequences of a medical error.
If you have sustained an injury at the hands of a negligent or careless doctor, you should not hesitate to seek rightful compensation. Medical malpractice should not be left unnoticed, but it is your responsibility to take the appropriate legal action. If you are unsure of whether or not you have grounds for a personal injury lawsuit, the first step is to contact an experienced personal injury attorney and explain the facts of your case. From that point on, it can be accurately assessed whether or not you have a valid claim to pursue.
For more information about Public Citizen's study, click here.