Medical accident claims have skyrocketed in recent years

There has been a non-negligible increase in the number of medical errors over the past couple of years, brought against publicly funded healthcare systems by patients themselves or by others on behalf of the estates of those who have deceased.

Even if doctors are practicing defensive medicine to try to limit the risk of medical or clinical negligence, it seems that their efforts are in vain. Some of them, at least. Medical accident claims are still being instituted against them. Claims can be divided into those relating to diagnosis and those relating to treatment. There are concerns regarding the rising costs and the need for joint action.

People are becoming more litigious, which explains the number of claims being brought

Contrary to popular opinion, the United States isn’t the country with the highest number of lawsuits, even though it has a large number of lawsuits crowding the courts. The most litigious countries per capita are Germany, Sweden, Israel, and Austria. The United States ranks last. Lawsuits are becoming commonplace in Great Britain as well. Some people leverage every opportunity to claim compensation for a personal injury. The idea of “no win, no fee” is offered by solicitors across the country. Victims are encouraged to seek compensation without having to worry about the costs involved. What is certain is that Great Britain is a far more litigious society than it was decades ago.

People who have suffered an injury due to misdiagnosis or surgical error are able to recover compensation for their pain and suffering. Patients have never been in a stronger position to enforce their rights. Legislation and pronouncements by the courts reiterate the importance of patients’ rights and lay the grounds for medical accident claims. It’s important to clarify that the claims for compensation for torts aren’t unjustified, frivolous, or fraudulent. Far from it. As a matter of fact, many people are apprehensive about seeking legal advice because of the negative perceptions surrounding these matters.

Some people don’t want to make a fuss following an Injury

At present, there’s much debate about the compensation culture problem. When a person sustains an injury, there’s the possibility to take legal action. Rather than seeking justice, some people refrain from doing anything. In other words, they don’t want to cause any inconvenience. People who put a claim forward tend to be judged. Worried about what others might think, they support the consequences of not claiming. More exactly, they have to pay for the present and future medical expenses out of pocket. There’s no better time than now to reassess how we view people who claim for personal injury. Honest, hard-working people shouldn’t be missing out on financial compensation.

Some examples of medical accidents that might lead to a lawsuit

The negligent, improper, or unskilled treatment of a patient by a healthcare professional (nurse, physician, surgeon, pharmacist, dentist, etc.) constitutes a medical accident. Some errors are more frequently reported than others. Examples include but aren’t limited to:

  • Misdiagnosis
  • Surgical mistakes
  • Anesthesia administration
  • Birth injury to a child
  • Cerebral palsy
  • Delayed diagnosis of glaucoma
  • Hospital infection

Besides simple negligence, there’s gross negligence. The breach of duty is worse as compared to other cases. Put simply, the failure to provide reasonable care goes beyond medical standards. More often than not, the legal remedy is represented by a monetary damages award. The sum of money is paid either by the medical company or the healthcare professional. Medical or clinical negligence cases involve pain and suffering. According to the experts at Accident Claims, physical and mental/emotional suffering are often interconnected.

Every medical facility has a responsibility to offer a certain level of care and service to every person that comes through the doors. When the events lead to the harm of a patient, a doctor can be held guilty of a medical accident. The process isn’t complicated. But attention should be paid to the fact that it’s stressful and emotionally draining. Claims for medical or clinical negligence demand proceedings before reaching a settlement. The vast majority of personal injury claims settle before or during trial proceedings. The reason for this is that the legal process can stretch over the years. Injured patients, and their families, don’t want to wait too long for relief.

There are problems with the quality of healthcare

If you read the news, you’ll no doubt come across articles relating to the failure of doctors to treat patients appropriately or on time. Low-quality healthcare increases the burden of illness and injury. In spite of the fact that there has been progress in the medical field, namely the increase in survival rates for cancer and cardiovascular disease, it’s not enough to draw positive conclusions. The overall quality of healthcare has gotten worse over the last years, and people have taken notice of that. Physician trust has decreased, particularly during the COVID-19 pandemic. People want to trust doctors, but the modern healthcare system gets in the way.

Steps that can be taken to improve the quality of healthcare for patients

  1. Collecting data and evaluating patient outcomes. It’s best to assess existing data and see if opportunities for improvement exist. Combining provider and patient data helps get a clear picture of the situation. It’s helpful in terms of risk scoring, readmission prediction, predicting infection, and so on.
  2. Committing to ongoing evaluation. Healthcare organizations should commit to ongoing assessment. Checks can be conducted at any time. It’s crucial to stay on top of health and continually monitor arising problems. Improving quality in healthcare isn’t a one-time thing.
  3. Connecting and collaborating with other organizations. Collaboration among healthcare professionals is crucial for improved patient outcomes. Most organizations are willing to share resources to improve the lives of patients. Interprofessional collaboration dramatically reduces the number of errors.

All in all, its’ easy to see how accidents can happen. Doctors do their best to treat patients safely, but the result isn’t the one expected. This doesn’t necessarily mean that the quality of medical services is inferior, just that there’s room for error. Medical errors pose a serious public health threat. If corrected and avoided, the unpleasant consequence can be addressed. You know how the saying goes: It’s better to be safe than sorry.

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