It is estimated that hundreds of thousands of preventable medical errors occur every year in the United States, and yet only a fraction ever result in litigation. This is partly because most people have no idea how common medical malpractice is, or how damaging it can be when you experience it. But whether you realize it or not, medical malpractice can have a substantial impact on your life, in both the short and long term. Here are seven ways medical malpractice can hurt you:
- Larger medical bills
- The most obvious way that medical malpractice can cost you is with quite literal costs. Every mistake made by a doctor, nurse, lab technician, or other medical professional can easily result in thousands of dollars of additional tests, treatments, or surgeries to correct. If you are lucky, you will have insurance that will cover your costs, but even then, you may be looking at larger healthcare premiums due to someone else’s negligence.
- Lost income
- Another factor to consider is that every day you need to spend in the hospital, or going to a doctor or rehabilitation center, is a day that you cannot work. This means that you can lose wages, vacation days, or other benefits due to your injury or illness. Medical malpractice can wind up costing you your paycheck, or even possibly your job, depending on how severe it is.
- More medical complications
- Any mistake by a medical professional can result in greater medical complications, either as a result of waiting longer to treat a disease, or due to treatments being improperly administered. In some cases, these complications may be the result of unnecessary tests, treatments or surgeries, which only serve to make your health worse and add to your medical expenses. It may also necessitate additional treatment to repair the complications that would not have arisen if treatment were properly administered in the first place.
- Longer recovery times
- The longer it takes for your illness or injury to be properly treated, the longer it will take to get better. This means that an injury you should have recovered from in a couple of weeks could still be hindering you months later. This is especially true if your doctor needs to perform additional treatments or surgeries to correct the error caused by the medical malpractice.
- Worse prognosis or life expectancy
- Medical malpractice can cost you not only in terms of your wealth or immediate health, but also cost you your chance at life. For example, if a cancer is misdiagnosed and is not properly treated, it may advance to a stage where treatment is harder, more expensive, and more likely to be ineffective. In some cases, medical malpractice can literally take years off of your life.
- Long-term health complications
- Even after you recover from your original injury or illness, medical malpractice can still leave you with long-term health problems. These problems may require extensive rehabilitation or treatment, and some may become issues you will need to deal with for the rest of your life. Often, these problems could be avoided if only you were properly diagnosed and treated in the first place.
- Pain and suffering
- Finally, there is the issue of pain and suffering, which encompasses all of the ways that illness and injury make people’s lives worse. This can include chronic pain, disfigurement, loss of mobility, loss of independence, loss of intimacy with your spouse, and a variety of other problems that can arise from medical malpractice. These are not small issues, and fortunately, you can potentially recover for this harm through a medical malpractice lawsuit.
The New York medical malpractice attorneys at Duffy & Duffy have decades of experience in handling personal injury and medical malpractice issues. With our offices conveniently located in Uniondale, we are ready to assist you with your case and ensure it receives the personal attention it deserves. If you want to learn more or receive a free consultation, give us a call at (516) 394 – 4200, or visit our contact page.