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10 Things You Need To Know About Medical Malpractice

Everyone has been to the doctor at some point in their lives. Even the hardcore, anti-medical industry enthusiasts were born somewhere – probably a hospital. Whether you believe in the system or not, when you’re in need of care you must find a way to trust doctors to produce the best results.

Although doctors have no incentive (unless contracted illegally under the table) to practice medicine subjectively towards you, accidents and incompetence do occur. If you feel that you or a loved one have been a victim of a malpractice situation, make sure that you listen up to the following list.

medical-malpractice-photoBe Prepared For a Malpractice Lawsuit

The Most Important Step – Make sure to consult a seasoned malpractice lawyer for information about your case. Do not be humble about any of the details of the case and make sure to provide all evidence and possible witnesses that you may have. It is essential to inform the lawyer of all possible angles and never leave out details about the health of the patient in question – these little details could be the difference between a losing case and a winning settlement.

Case Strength Is Based On A Standard

The medical community determines the standard of care in a medical malpractice suit. (i.e. the professional practices of other doctors in the medical community who are unbiased in your current case).  The malpractice is usually won or lost based on the professional opinions of doctors or medical specialists in the particular field.

There are No Limits or Exceptions

A medical malpractice lawsuit can be filed against any person or facility that provides medical care. Therefore, hospitals are not the only defendants against a malpractice case – pediatric doctors, specialty doctors, and outpatient facilities are also subject to a possible lawsuit. Make sure that you know your rights.

Always Work With A Professional – Never attempt to represent yourself in court or file a case against a medical office alone. Unlike you, bigger medical facilities have quality control offices and lawyers on call for possible lawsuits. In addition, most negligence and accidental injury malpractice cases are cases that the doctors or hospital involved is already aware of.

For example, if you worked at a hospital and know that you forgot to give an elderly man medicine he needed to survive, you would probably consult with your hospital manager or legal team before attempting to cover up the situation. Hospitals usually know when they have made a mistake and rarely come forward with honest replies to families or friends of the victim after foul play.

You Can Request Records At Any Time

Hospitals and outpatient facilities must provide you with medical records and full documentation of your visits upon request. If you’re thinking about filing a lawsuit against a hospital or well-known, bigger medical outpatient center, you may want to consult your lawyer first. He or she will tell you exactly what documents and records you need to request and how to go about doing it.

Although this is just a theory, I believe that because medical records are all internal some offices alter information if they know that foul play was involved. For example, after the elderly man dies from not receiving his pill, the hospital may still note that the pill was given in order to cover their tracks. If there is a fatality and a serious accusation against the medical facility, your lawyer may recommend that you conduct an autopsy of the body. Information from this report will prove vital of foul play and malpractice cases.

These Cases Can Last Forever – Any lawsuit can take extensive time and money to reach completion, but malpractice cases require a lot of evidence and questioning, which requires multiple court appearances and legal work. If you are paying a lawyer by the hour than you are going to be poor before the case is even settled. Make sure that you are consulting with successful, reputable lawyers with seasonal track records who do not charge a fee unless your suit is decided in your favor.

Make Sure That You’re Committed

There are statutes of limitation when it comes to filing a malpractice case. Each state has a different requirement, but all states do have a “window of opportunity” to file a case so don’t wait too long.

It’s Not Like the Old Days – Back in the 80’s and 90’s, patients were filing left and right for malpractice claims because the cases were often subjective and the responsible party (the medical facility) would be required to pay a settlement for damages. Well, this got out of hand over the years when people were receiving millions of dollars in damages for a simple foot injury malpractice. Unfortunately, this caused the courts to re-evaluate the claims and since the 2000’s, malpractice claims have declined because you just don’t get that much even if you win.

What is the Most Common Malpractice?

Believe it or not, most malpractice cases occur when doctors and medical personnel become too complacent at their jobs. Therefore, seasoned veterans in the field are actually more susceptible to a malpractice case than newly hired medical students. Most of the cases are incompetency through complacency.

Insurance Companies Want to Settle – No one wants to go to court because court is where the real money is lost. Therefore, the insurance companies that will be writing you a check would rather write you a small check than a big one 6 month later in court. Unless you have a very strong case with a lot of potential money to be made, you may want to take the deal they offer.

Honorable Mention

They Can’t Hold It Against You — If you file a medical malpractice against a medical facility, they are not able to reject you as a patient in the future — this is discrimination against you for previous claims. If the case becomes a high-profile claim, you may want to relocate your care to avoid possible sabotage.

Today’s post was written by Matthew Hall, a professional writer for www.Heil-Law.com. Matthew is a skilled blogger who enjoys covering various legal related topics.


Most Common Types of Medical Negligence

medical negligenceIn very simple terms, medical negligence is the maltreatment of patient by a healthcare provider, doctor or medical practitioner. The word ‘maltreatment’ covers a very broad spectrum, so we will try to explain it in the context of medical negligence. Maltreatment occurs when the standard of medical care provided to the patient falls below the acceptable standard as specified by the concerned medical authority. Now this definition of maltreatment alone is insufficient. To further explain, we will discuss some common types of medical negligence.

Birth Injury

Unfortunately, there are times when a child can suffer an injury during and/or immediately after the birth. The cause might be some mistakes during or prior to the birth. For instance, the mother-to-be could be treated with the wrong drug before delivery causing a negative effect on the child or the delivery could be mishandled by those supposed to look after her. Sometimes, the post natal care provided to the child and mother may be insufficient or have undesirably low standard. If the mother or child sustains any injury due to the aforementioned reasons, this might warrant eligibility for monetary compensation on grounds of medical negligence.

Hospital Negligence

There are many areas which can be covered under hospital negligence – from unsanitary conditions to mistreatment at the hands of hospital staff – it confers a wide array of claim types.

Misdiagnosis

Misdiagnosis is one of the most common types of errors made be doctors. Failing to diagnose or diagnosing a totally wrong condition falls into this category. It can lead to the patient getting incorrect treatment, which can worsen the condition.

Un-required Surgery

Another common complaint by victims of medical negligence – this happens when patient is operated on unnecessarily and non-invasive techniques could have provided the solution.

Incorrect Medication

As the title suggests, you can make this claim if the medication provided to you was wrong and unneeded for the ailment you suffer from. Apart from not curing the problem, incorrect medication can have adverse effects on body. It may result in grievous and permanent damage.

Anesthesia Error

Administration of the wrong type or strength of anesthetic agent can have disastrous consequences. Under dosage can leave the patient awake during the operation and over dosage can have equally dire results.

Medical Devices and Products

These days, doctors rely heavily on medical equipment. Equipment can be an electronic device, like a dialysis machine or pacemaker, or plain old medical instruments like a stethoscope or a scalpel. So if a medical instrument or device turns out to be faulty, it is usually the manufacturer’s fault and the manufacturer may have to pay compensation.

Dental Negligence

All the aforementioned types of claims might be applicable to dental treatments as well. Some cosmetic procedures may not be covered, but it is best to discuss things with a medical solicitor before undergoing an unusual medical procedure or treatment.

It is important to remember that your claim may be rejected if it is found that you failed to follow doctor’s suggestions, prescriptions or adhere to the guidelines outlined by your healthcare provider.

Ali Asjad is a medical negligence solicitor’s assistant based in London. He writes about clinical negligence claims for medical and legal blogs.


Insurance Plans you need to keep in mind

Insurance Plans you need to keep in mind

Most people who work in the United States plan to retire when they reach the appropriate age. They have savings accounts and plan to relax living out their dreams once work is no longer on the agenda, but many forget to account for insurance.

Some of the policies most carry while they work may not be necessary once retired, but others should be maintained even through retirement.

Policies you should plan to keep:

Automobile insurance

The chances that you will retire, immediately give up your driver’s license, and never get behind the wheel of a car again are slim to none. It is illegal to drive without being insured, so the car insurance has to stay. Consider upping your policy to full coverage; it would be much harder to afford a replacement vehicle if yours were to get wrecked without that steady paycheck.

Homeowner’s or renter’s insurance

You will still have to live somewhere when you retire, and whether you own or rent, there’s a policy for that. You should always have a policy in place to protect your home and possessions from burglary, fire, and natural disasters, especially once you retire; since it would be very difficult to replace these things without a paycheck.

Health insurance

Most employers offer health coverage for their workers. Once those workers retire, the employer is required to continue providing this coverage for an additional 18 months. After that, it is your responsibility to find your own insurance. At age 65, Medicare becomes available to the retiree, but it won’t cover everything, so be sure to have a supplemental policy of some kind. Look into policies that cover long term care; in your old age you may need it, and it’s not cheap. Policies to cover long term care are expensive, but the younger you enroll, the less your premiums will be.

Renters Insurance

Renter Insurance as the name suggests is meant for landlords who have rented their apartments or home etc. So, it does not matter whether you live in individual flat or duplex you need to have renter’s insurance to protect your belongings and valuable items. The best part of renter’s insurance is that it is available at an affordable rate; you just need to research well. Renters generally need this insurance to protect the house structure or land where the apartment is situated. It provides you protection as and when you retire. Thus, this insurance makes you self sufficient in your unfavorable days.

MediCare Insurance

MediCare Insurance can act as supplemental insurance because when you reach at the age of 65 it becomes available but it is not the insurance plan to bank upon. They generally vary with regard to cost and structure.

Policies to cut back, or let go:

  • Life insurance

Life insurance policies are very important during the working years because that money is intended to help your family make ends meet holding their standard of living if you were gone. If a retirement plan has been built wisely, the loss of a spouse would not leave the remaining partner without a means to pay for their everyday living expenses. Consider cutting back your life insurance policy to an amount that will cover your final expenses with little excess to save money in retirement.

  • Disability insurance

Disability insurance is concurrent on becoming unable to work due to sickness or injury. Once you retire, you have no job income to protect; so it is unneeded unless you retire before age 62, when the government provided disability coverage kicks in. It covers all the possible risks which make working painful or uncomfortable.

Be sure to give insurance issues very careful thought when planning for your retirement. What you plan for and save for are all you have to live the rest of your life on once you retire, and adequate planning could be the difference between a state nursing home and a condo near the beach in your old age.

Author Box

The post is shared by George Martin. George is quite knowledgeable when it comes to retirement policies.


Critical Illness Cover – A Lifesaving Investment

Critical Illness Cover – A Lifesaving Investment

Most people who have traditional health insurance feel good about the coverage their policies provide. Unfortunately, many of these policyholders fail to realize that if they were to fall critically ill their policies may not be there for them when they need coverage the most.

Traditional health insurance policies usually have a payment amount cutoff and a limited number of days you may stay in a hospital during your policy term. This could prove detrimental to you if your doctor diagnoses you with an unexpected critical illness. That’s why adding a supplemental policy to your health insurance that has critical illness cover is so important – it may just save your life. Critical illness cover will not only cover your hospital costs, it will also pay out regular income to you when you are out of work due to your illness.

Critical Illness Cover: The Basics

Critical illness cover will not insure you for minor injuries. You will not be able to use it for emergencies such as broken bones. However, your plan will definitely cover you if you have a serious, life-threatening medical condition – the type of condition that could cause you to lose your job because it renders you too weak to work.

Illnesses that are generally covered include:
• Cancer
• Heart Attack
• Organ Transplant
• Stroke
• Alzheimer’s
• Multiple Sclerosis
• Severe Burns
• Blindness/Deafness

If you need to verify whether any of these critical illnesses are covered under your plan, check with your insurer. A complete list of serious conditions that are covered is typically included in your policy documentation. As with most health insurance policies, when applying for critical illness cover, you will be subject to a risk assessment. Your age, gender, current health, smoking, family history, and past medical history are all factors your insurance provider will consider when you apply, and the results of the assessment may affect the price of the premiums you will pay.

With critical illness coverage, there is an emphasis placed on family history, smoking, and body mass index because these are all major risk factors for a future serious illness. These factors may raise the costs of insurance, and you may also be excluded from coverage for certain serious illnesses due to your perceived risk.

This is precisely why you must read the fine print of each policy you consider. Make yourself fully aware of every clause in each policy so you’ll know what’s covered – and what’s not. Seek out the most comprehensive coverage you can find for your money and assess the restrictions that apply to each policy. Additionally, it’s a good idea to look for life insurance companies that are liberal on their risk assessment.

If you are young and healthy, it’s best to enroll in a critical illness cover plan now. Your premiums will be cheaper the younger you are. As you age, your risk for certain life-threatening conditions dramatically increases, and your premiums will rise in tandem.

The Importance of Critical Illness Coverage

Insurance companies provide critical illness cover with the intent of providing financial stability to people who have been diagnosed with a serious condition. The benefits of purchasing this type of policy are coverage for hospital costs incurred during your treatment, physical therapy after any operations, home healthcare assistance and hospice, and help for any lost income you may have suffered due to your illness.

Your medical costs may not be all your plan covers. Your insurance could also pay for your mortgage if you contract a serious illness or die. With critical illness cover, you may have the ability to manipulate your plan to pay a portion of your mortgage or pay your mortgage in full. Check with your provider to find out if this is a benefit of your plan.

Other Alternatives

Most critical illness cover plans are designed to pay you a lump sum of cash if you are diagnosed with a serious illness that is covered in your policy. Treatment for serious illnesses gets very expensive very quickly, and an alternative policy option may be direct payment to the hospital on your behalf for any costs that you incur during treatment. This helps you skip the long, frustrating process of reimbursement for payments you make, and depending on your plan, it may eliminate out of pocket expenses altogether.
Another alternative is to receive care from highly specialized hospitals located outside of the country. This type of coverage will pay for all travel expenses and accommodations for you and a companion, and will even provide translators if necessary. This is a highly specialized plan, so shop around for providers before deciding which company is for you.


Critical illness insurance deals

Few people would dispute that times are tough and may remain so, so that makes a search for critical illness insurance deals all the more urgent.

Yet a slight pause may be advisable.

Critical illness insurance UK cover, may provide financial assistance at a time when you and your family are at your most vulnerable.

That is shortly after you have been diagnosed as suffering from a critical illness and are trying to cope with what that means. What it may mean for your overall health and prognosis is a matter for you, your family and your medical experts, however, it may also mean a great deal to your financial situation.

One of the sometimes unforeseen side-effects of such a diagnosis is that costs suddenly start to pile up. You may have medical expenses, additional travelling costs, specialised equipment in the home and the need for additional home assistance or child-minding etc.

None of these may be met by the state and if these costs happen to coincide with a reduction in your income (or even worse, its elimination) then you may find yourself to be struggling both in terms of your health and finances – a very dangerous combination.

That is where a substantial lump-sum critical insurance payment may come in very handy indeed.

So, searching for critical illness insurance deals may be fine – but not if it is at the expense of the quality of cover provided.

The fact is that critical illness insurance UK cover, may vary significantly between policies. It may be difficult to think of describing any of these as better or worse than others – that may depend very much upon your view of the risks you face and the cover you would find acceptable.

However, in the hopefully unlikely event you ever need to make a claim, you will presumably want the minimum of confusion and potential delays in receiving the lump-sum payment such insurance may make in order for you to concentrate on getting better, rather than worrying how you’re going to cope in a financial sense. That’s why it may be very important to be clear what your money is buying you, when you initially select your policy.

Critical illness insurance deals may one day prove to be very important to you and your closest family. It is not something that you’ll want to get wrong, so shopping around to find suitable cover may be a smart idea.


Healthy People Need Only Apply for Life Insurance


You will probably never hear this from online life insurance brokers but you might as well face the facts.  The truth is that only the healthiest people in America get the cheapest, rock-bottom prices for a life insurance policy.  It is a gift from the nation’s insurance companies.  Those insurance carriers reward healthy people with the lowest rates because they figure they will live longer and they won’t have to pay out the death benefits for a long time.

There, I said it.  That little secret that insurance companies would rather not publicize is the bold-faced truth.  The fact of the matter is that the lowest rates for life insurance policies, known in the industry as “preferred” or “select” rates, are given to people who are young and in good health and who have families with a history of wellness.

So, I’m calling out America’s healthiest people to apply for life insurance as the surest way to save big money.  Buy now, while you are healthy and can get those ‘special’ rates. Once you lock in those rates for say 20 or 30 years on a term life insurance policy, your premiums will never increase regardless of your health condition. Obviously, I would advise you to work hard to stay healthy just because you will likely enjoy a longer and good quality of life.

If you have any doubt that your health and wellness does not make a difference when it comes to saving money on life insurance, you are absolutely wrong. People with heart disease, high blood pressure, who are grossly overweight or have diabetes will probably pay at least 30% more than the preferred life insurance rates. Smokers beware.  You will pay as much as double.

What if you have no medical conditions except for being overweight? Being ten pounds overweight won’t affect the price of your life insurance policy but if your weight reaches a certain level it will.  Essentially, the heavier you are, the more you’ll pay.

Life insurers call it your “build.” It translates into your weight relative to your height and they use tables that combine the two factors to help determine your risk of getting sick or dying as a result. The more you weigh in relation to your height, the more potential you have for health problems. The real problem is that we live in a country with an epidemic of obesity.

Again, the ideal life insurance customer is someone in optimal health who is expected to live a long, healthy life. Recent statistics published in the Journal of the American Medical Association found that excess weight is linked to 280,000 deaths in the U.S. annually.

General guidelines are that people more than 30 pounds over their ideal weight have a higher potential of developing serious medical problems. So, if that’s the case with you, count on paying more for your life insurance.

Here is the challenge.  If you think you can qualify for those coveted “preferred” life insurance rates do not wait to apply.  Wear it as a badge of honor that you are in this elite class.  Getting the lowest prices on life insurance coverage is a special privilege reserved for the very best in this country.  Join the “Best Health Club” and start enjoying big savings now.

Height/Weight Table

Use this as a guideline but remember that each insurance company has its own guidelines so their “build” charts could be either stricter or more lenient.

height-weight-chart

Ileana Bravo is the Director of Media & Investor Relations at LifeQuote, the national leader in life insurance. Follow her at the LifeQuote blog where she covers news and trends related to life insurance, health, and finance.


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