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What is medical negligence?

The Journal of American Medicine reports that medical negligence is the third leading cause of death in the United States. According to estimates, medical errors cause the death of 200,000 victims each year. When a medical professional or hospital has been negligent, victims are able to seek damages for the harm they have suffered as a result through a medical malpractice claim.

A medical care provider is negligent when the doctor or health care provider fails to adhere to the standard of care, and injures a patient as a result. The standard of care is what a reasonably prudent medical provider would do in similar circumstances.

Securing medical records, interviews and thoroughly documenting the circumstances is an important part of the medical malpractice process to ensure victims receive compensation for the damages they have suffered due to medical negligence. Because there are specific timelines that apply to protecting the rights of victims of medical malpractice, it is important to be familiar with the process when you believe you have suffered harm as a result of medical negligence.

Medical malpractice can, unfortunately, result in death or catastrophic injuries. Victims can suffer unexpected, and extensive, damages including physical, financial and emotional harm. Medical malpractice can also have a significant impact on the lives of families and not only the victims of medical malpractice alone.

Because of the high-stakes nature of medical negligence, the legal process provides options to protect victims and their families through medical malpractice claim options and resources. Medical malpractice holds negligent medical providers accountable and allows victims to seek compensation for the damages they have suffered as a result of medical malpractice.

Source: Forbes, "10 Things You Want To Know About Medical Malpractice," Demetrius Cheeks, May 16, 2013

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