Way back in 1999, the term “medical malpractice” entered the common lexicon overnight when the Institute of Medicine released a stunning report entitled “To Err Is Human”. The report called preventable deaths in America’s hospital system “a national epidemic” and attributed nearly a hundred thousand wrongful deaths to medical errors each year.
That makes medical malpractice more lethal than motor vehicle accidents, breast cancer, or AIDS. But it’s also actually an incorrect number — a study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) three years later doubled that number — up to 195,000 deaths per year.
And you’re curious as to why there are so many Los Angeles wrongful death attorneys? Along with the Orange County wrongful death attorneys, they cover more than 140 hospitals and thousands of medical malpractice cases every year.
There are many reasons why medical errors happen. Doctors work ridiculous schedules that would put anyone off their game — most people couldn’t imagine driving home after a 36-hour shift, much less operating on a patient. Medication databases, until very recently, did an incredibly poor job of warning against contra-indications, and even today, there are very basic things that someone might consider eating — like grapefruit — that can outright kill you if you’re taking the wrong meds, but those non-medicinal contra-indications are given much less attention than drug-on-drug interactions.
If one of your loved ones died due to medical malpractice, though, the reasons why are probably a lot less interesting than the reasons why you deserve just compensation for your loss. When the medical system fails you, you may feel like you have nowhere to turn — but there’s another “the system” waiting to help: the justice system.
But wait — what about the insurance system? Don’t count on it. The insurance companies don’t want to punish the hospital for malpractice, because the hospital (99% likely) has a contract with the insurance company to provide medical services at discounted rates. If the insurance company harms the hospital, the hospital will break the contract and the insurance company loses the ability to send people to that hospital in the future. No: the justice system is your best bet for getting (perhaps unsurprisingly) justice.