By now most people know the statistic: Medical malpractice is the 3rd leading cause of death in our country. In fact, medical malpractice is responsible for the deaths of over 250,000 people per year. That is an enormous, concerning number, and it does not even include the hundreds of thousands of other people who suffer serious, life-changing injuries due to medical errors. This blog post is intended to discuss medical malpractice, what it is, why it is important, and what can be done to save peoples’ lives.
What Is It?
Medical malpractice occurs when a healthcare provider (doctor, nurse, nurse practitioner, physician’s assistant, technician, etc.) falls below the standard of care and causes an injury to someone. The standard of care is what a reasonable and prudent doctor, nurse, etc. would do in the same situation. In other words, it’s the rule that healthcare providers must follow. For example, the standard of care in driving is to follow the speed limit. If you drive 10 miles per hour over the speed limit and hit someone, you have fallen below the standard of care and caused an injury, so you are liable (responsible) to the injured person. The same is true in the healthcare field. And, just like if you hurt someone with your car, a doctor/nurse/etc. has malpractice insurance to pay for the injuries they cause.
Why Does It Happen So Much?
Now that we know what medical malpractice is, the next question is why does it occur so often? First, it is important to understand that medical malpractice cases do not claim that the doctor or nurse INTENTIONALLY injured or killed someone. Their job is to help people in need, and their intent is not to cause harm. That said, it is not simple a “stuff happens” situation, either. The most important fact about medical malpractice cases is that the negligence (or wrong acts) are always preventable if the healthcare provider simply takes the time he or she needs to properly assess the situation. Often times their employer, the hospital, is the cause of the problem because the hospital has created a system that is financially motivated, and which puts its doctors and nurses in a position to fail. This happens in hospitals every day throughout Arizona because their goal is to maximize insurance payouts and not to give each, individual patient the time he or she needs. With urgent care centers popping up throughout Phoenix and the rest of Arizona, this problem is magnified exponentially. Urgent care centers are not equipped to handle life-threatening emergencies like heart attacks, strokes, and other serious conditions, but they often do not properly train the nurse practitioners and physicians’ assistants on how to accurately diagnose these emergent conditions. The urgent care business model is “treat ’em, and street ’em,” meaning diagnose the patient as quickly as possible and get them out the door so the healthcare provider can move on to the next patient.
Snyder & Wenner — Arizona’s Premier Medical Malpractice Law Firm
For the last 36 years, Snyder & Wenner has been at the forefront of holding doctors, hospitals, urgent care centers, nurse practitioners, physicians’ assistants, and all other healthcare providers responsible for their negligent conduct. Our goal is very simple: To help our clients and their families by ensuring that medical providers are accountable for their conduct. Not only does this help our clients with the financial support they need to treat their life-changing injuries (or the death of a loved one), but it also helps to keep the rest of our community safe. When medical providers know that there are consequences for their conduct, they will take more time and rethink their choices. It is a crucial check and balance system, and medical malpractice lawsuits, unfortunately, seem to be the only way to stop the crisis from growing each and every years. With this goal in mind, we only take the most serious injury and wrongful death cases in Phoenix and throughout Arizona. We are proud of the work we have done to protect our community here in the greater Phoenix area, and we look forward to 36 more years of protecting our community, one case at a time.