Medical malpractice occurs when a doctor fails to provide the patient with the level of care expected by a reasonable person. Unfortunately, some individuals have a higher risk of suffering from poor outcomes because of medical malpractice.
Review the common risk factors that increase the likelihood of a medical malpractice injury.
Lack of health insurance
Individuals who do not have health insurance are more likely to receive a diagnosis after a serious illness such as cancer has already progressed. Delayed or missed diagnosis is one of the most common types of medical malpractice.
The U.S. Office of Disease Prevention and Health Prevention also notes that uninsured individuals are more likely to be in poor health and die at an earlier age than people who have health insurance.
Multiple chronic illnesses
Medication errors also represent a large category of medical malpractice cases. These adverse drug events more commonly affect people who take multiple prescription medications to manage multiple chronic illnesses. As a result, older adults are also disproportionately affected by provider errors such as prescribing or administering the wrong medication, administering a medication incorrectly, or giving the patient the wrong dose.
Birth injuries are among the most common medical malpractice incident. As a result, pregnant women and their newborns have a higher risk for malpractice injury than the general population. Examples include fractures, developmental delays, nerve damage and other injuries. These incidents may occur because of failure to use birth instruments correctly, recommend a necessary cesarean section or diagnose a birth defect.
Individuals who live in Hawaii have two years after an injury to file a medical malpractice lawsuit.