How to Reduce Your Risk of Medical Malpractice and Medical Errors

March 20th, 2013 Uncategorized
Fellows Hymowitz Rice Personal Injury Law Medical Malpractice

A Widespread Problem

Medical malpractice affects thousands of people every year, causing severe injuries, millions in additional medical costs, emotional pain, loss of quality of life, and even death. Given these distressing emotional and financial consequences, it is important to learn what steps you can take to be as proactive as possible regarding your personal medical care and that of your loved ones.

It is often difficult to know if a medical mistake has occurred in the first place. Medical error and malpractice cases are some of the most challenging cases to prove, and require a skilled lawyer to investigate the facts. A skilled personal injury attorney will be able to see if you have a valid claim against a hospital, pharmacist, doctor, or other health care provider.

All medical malpractice cases involve a patient becoming injured or dying due to a lack of the accepted standard of patient care. Of course we are all human and mistakes happen, however these mistakes can often have drastic consequences in the medical field. Medical malpractice occurs when a physician, healthcare provider or medical personnel takes a step away from the accepted standard of patient treatment.

Below are some widespread types of medical errors and mistakes that cause serious injury and death every year.

Incorrect Medication and Dosage

Improper medication and dosage is listed as one of the top medical errors that occur in America.

When a patient receives the wrong medication it can be the result of a pharmacist mistake, other times a doctor’s handwriting may be illegible and cause dosage confusion. Often times when two or more medications are prescribed and not checked for dangerous interactions, severe complications and even death may occur.

If you are Prescribed Medication:

Make sure to verify the name and dosage of your prescription with your doctor while he is in the room

Never take pills you receive from the pharmacy if the name looks off or different without first consulting with your doctor

Always be sure to tell your doctor of all current medications you are taking to avoid potentially serious complications

Ask questions and even take notes when speaking with your doctor about your prescriptions

The more you know about your prescriptions the safer you will be.

Incorrect Site Surgery and Improper Surgery Procedure

Incorrect site surgery is another common medical mistake.  Doctors have been knows to operate on the wrong body part or even the wrong patient. This can occur because of a rushed procedure, an incorrect medical chart, or even something as small as a hospital room mix-up.  If you are in the hospital awaiting surgery make sure that your nurse knows what procedure you are getting done. Try to speak with as many staff members as you can to let them know who you are and why you are there. Try to have loved ones near who can advocate for you if you are not able to do so for yourself. They can speak with your doctor and nurses to make sure that there is no confusion regarding your treatment.


Misdiagnosis is another very serious medical error that may be harder to catch early. One recent medical study claimed that doctors may misdiagnose fatal illnesses in an estimated 20% of cases. To help prevent misdiagnosis, especially if you are visiting a new doctor, always try to get a 2nd or 3rd opinion. This can sometimes be the difference between a correct diagnosis and serious medical complications later on. regarding your own medical care. Remember to always ask questions when speaking to your doctor, and make sure to inform him of all of your symptoms, no matter how trivial you think they are. When your doctor is more informed, he will be able to make a more correct diagnosis.

Cancer misdiagnosis is one of the most common misdiagnosed conditions, so being proactive and asking questions early will hopefully prevent a catastrophic diagnosis down the road.

Stay Informed

Research the qualifications and credentials of the doctors you select. Some doctors are highly regarded in their fields, while others may just be starting out and without a tested history. This is particularly critical regarding specialists and doctors who only work with particular types of cases/injuries. You can never be too informed.

The attorneys at Fellows Hymowitz Rice P.C. have a record of success in handling a wide range of cases including injuries caused by medical malpractice. We bring the same individual commitment and dedication to each case, big or small. If you have been injured or sustained loss in any type of accident as a result of someone else’s fault call us for a free confidential consultation at 845-639-9300.

Fellows Hymowitz Rice, PC, The Right Lawyers Make a Real Difference