The US healthcare system is unique, to say the least. An individual pays more for healthcare in the United States than any other developed nation, and in some cases a hospital bill can be enough to bankrupt entire families.
Medication, treatments, emergency services—it’s all incredibly expensive compared to the rest of the world. But at the same time, doctors in the US are held accountable much more than doctors elsewhere.
If you suffer form negligence at the hand of a doctor or other healthcare professional then you have more recourse for action in the US than you do anywhere else.
How Common is it?
A large number of fatal hospital malpractice incidents go unreported, and in some cases it’s hard to know when an error was the cause of death. However, recent estimates suggest that as many as 350,000 die every year as the result of medical negligence, which would make this the third biggest killer in the United States, behind cancer and heart disease.
What’s more, there are millions more incidents that don’t result in death, but may still greatly impact the life of the individual.
What to Do
Hospitals may not always be very open about mistakes they make and as a patient or the loved one of a patient it can be hard to get to the bottom of such issues. This is true not just of the US healthcare system, but of healthcare systems the world over.
As a patient who has undergone treatment and have suffered form something untoward, it’s up to you to get to the bottom of the problem. The same applies if your loved one has passed away from what you suspect was negligence.
When this happens, simply take a look at the medical files, ask the doctor, and push for information. They will be breaking the law if they intentionally withheld any information from you so this should be enough to understand what happened.
After that, you need a medical malpractice lawyer on your side. There are many of these operating throughout the United States—a testament to just how much of an issue this is—and some of them will work on a no-win no-fee basis.
Whatever you do, it’s important to get to the bottom of such incidents and make sure that justice is served. At the very least you can get those hospital bills written off and get the help you need to get back to full health.