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¡No Se Deje!
Medical negligence, also known as medical malpractice, is among the most contentious and controversial problems in America today. Each year hundreds of thousands of people suffer serious injury or death due to preventable medical errors and mistakes. Is there an adequate remedy for victims of medical negligence/malpractice?
A study by the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences estimated that more than 98,000 patients were killed each year as a result of preventable medical errors in hospitals. Approximately 90% of medical negligence claims are for permanent injury or death. A Harvard University study reported that only one of every 8 patients injured in a hospital files a claim for compensation and that 10 out of 11 claims filed are abandoned. According to the National Practitioner Data Bank, 5% of the doctors were responsible for 54% of all malpractice lawsuits. These agencies report that preventable medical errors costed up to $29 billion per year.
Anyone that believes that they or a loved one has been harmed while receiving medical care should act immediately to determine if they are entitled to compensation. There are strict time limits for filing claims and lawsuits for medical malpractice. Attorneys that specialize in representing victims of medical negligence can make sure that claims and suits are filed on time and that the complex requirements are properly performed. Many victims of medical negligence find it difficult to find an attorney willing to take their cases. This is because the legal process makes it very difficult and expensive to successfully litigate medical negligence claims in court.
Medical malpractice attorneys will usually decline cases unless they believe that there is reasonable probability that the case has a significant value if they win. This is because medical malpractice cases are very expensive to prepare regardless of their value. And, attorneys must advance these substantial costs and hope that they will get repaid if the case is resolved favorably. Doctors, hospitals and other medical personnel and facilities aggressively resist admitting wrongdoing or agreeing to pay the claimants for fear of damaging their professional reputations.
Medical professionals have a legal duty to make decisions and provide competent and reasonable medical care. Victims of medical negligence must prove that the accused medical professional’s acts or failure to act was below the standard of care of competent professionals in their community. Victims must also prove that the negligent act or omission caused the harm and that he/she has been damaged as a result. An experienced attorney can then establish a reasonable value for the claim.
These claims include compensation for loss of earnings, medical bills, pain and suffering, and emotional damage. In California, the maximum amount victims can receive for non-economic damages (pain and suffering) is $250,000.00. Spouses of victims can file separate claims for the loss of companionship, comfort, care, assistance, protection, affection, moral support and the loss of enjoyment of sexual relations or the ability to have children. ¡NO SE DEJE! ®
Jess J. Araujo, Esq.