COVID-Related Medical Malpractice Claims on the Rise
2020 has been the year of disease. The coronavirus has swept the nation, resulting in 12.4 million cases and 257,000 deaths. Many victims of this deadly disease are forced to be hospitalized, hooked up to ventilators in order to breathe. Some people turn the corner and recover, while others die.
Why is this virus so dangerous? Many patients and their families believe that medical malpractice is causing all these deaths and worsened conditions. Many hospitals have not been prepared for the influx in cases. Many medical facilities are facing equipment shortages. They do not have enough ventilators, medication or personal protective equipment (PPE). On top of that, there are not enough nurses to care for those who are sick with the coronavirus. Many nurses have gotten sick with COVID themselves and even died. Many are taking time off. Some have quit their jobs altogether to stay healthy.
Very few medical malpractice claims were related to the coronavirus back in March. In fact, fewer than 1% of claims in the United States were COVID-related. Now, that number has increased to 5%. Ohio tops the list as the state with the most COVID-related medical malpractice claims.
Lawyers are surprised by the number of cases, as they expected more COVID-related claims. Many of the calls they receive are involving nursing homes, since many have had outbreaks. Many have concerns about understaffing, hygiene and infection control.
So why are people filing medical malpractice claims for COVID-related reasons? The reason is not clear, but many speculate that it is related to staffing and equipment shortages. In addition, many COVID-19 victims are unable to advocate for themselves. By the time many are hospitalized, they are in serious condition. They may be in a coma or not fully conscious. Given that hospitals are not allowing patients, there is nobody to look out for them. Family members cannot talk to doctors and nurses about their loved ones’ medical histories, which can make mistakes more likely to occur. Medical staff have no clue about allergies or what medications the patient is currently taking. This can lead to serious reactions that can make a person’s condition even worse.
When a person does decide to file a medical malpractice case, it’s an uphill battle. Florida has strict laws when it comes to medical malpractice. When the proper procedures are not followed, it can be difficult for a victim to receive the compensation they deserve.
Seek Help for Your Medical Malpractice Case
While nurses and doctors are trying to handle the influx of coronavirus patients as best as they can, some patients believe they could have received better care if some problems were eliminated, like staffing issues and equipment shortages.
If your loved one has died from COVID-19, it may or may not be medical malpractice. The Dade City & Zephyrhills medical malpractice attorneys at Mander Law Group can help you determine if you or your loved one’s injury or death was the result of medical negligence. To schedule a consultation, call (800) 557-0411 or fill out the online form.