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How Can I Protect Myself From Medical Malpractice in Hospitals?

A recent study published in the Journal of Patient Safety found that 440,000 people die EVERY YEAR after suffering medical errors in U.S. hospitals.  That's over 1,000 people dying every day as a result of medical malpractice and is the nation's third leading cause of death, trailing only heart disease and cancer.  And these numbers don't even include people who die from medical malpractice outside the hospital setting.

The bottom line is that too many people are dying in hospitals because of preventable medical mistakes, not enough is being done to stop it and patients need more information to protect themselves.

WHAT CAN YOU DO TO PROTECT YOURSELF?

1.  Choose the safest hospital.  Consumer Reports publishes safety ratings for hospitals nationwide.  See Consumer Reports Hospitals Ratings.

2.  Learn as much as possible before your admission.  Learn about what to expect during your admission, your treatments, any testing and especially about any medications prescribed.

3.  Don't be afraid to ask questions and speak up.  It is your body and your life.  Also, have a friend or family member with you who is not afraid to speak up for you if you are unable to speak for yourself.

4.  Bring a drug list.  If you take several medications, bring a drug list with you that includes everything you take, including prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, supplements and vitamins.

5.  Schedule any planned surgery in the middle of the week.  Hospitals are generally better staffed during this time than on the weekends.

6.  Keep a journal.  This could provide other medical providers with accurate information in case they don't communicate enough with each other.  And if something goes wrong, you will have an account of what happened.

Unfortunately, statistics show that no matter how prepared you are, preventable medical mistakes happen regularly.  If you or a family member has been a victim of medical malpractice, please contact Mathys & Schneid for a free consultation.

  1. "Committed To My Cause"

    I was struck by a car while cycling and severely, almost fatally injured. A team of excellent medical professionals performed complicated and extensive surgical and medical procedures as part of a successful effort to restore my health....
    -Jeff D.

  2. "Could not have made a better choice"

    We found Mark [Mathys] through the web after an auto accident in October 2011. While selecting someone you don't know to represent you can be a gamble, we could not have made a better choice....
    - Dave

  3. "Very satisfied"

    Mark [Mathys] is very professional. He responds almost immediately, via email, to any question, comment or concern I have and if he is not able to respond right away, he will let me know. I have been very satisfied with Mark so far and I am happy to be his client.
    -Jennifer

  4. "Easy to talk to"

    Mr. Mathys and Mr. Schneid were very professional and easy to talk to. Prior to working with them, my wife and I had no real experience with the legal system beyond a house closing, yet Mr. Mathys and Mr. Schneid explained the whole process to us very well. I knew that whenever I had a concern about our case or the legal system in general I could call their office or send an email and receive answers the same day... -Larry

  5. "Provided very wise advice"

    I've dealt with attorneys on a variety of issues, almost all of them since leaving college and entering the workplace. Mr. Mathys was the first attorney I had any real experience with, and I was impressed then and remain so. He provided very wise advice and always kept me informed. In the end, he delivered a favorable result. I recommend him highly.
    - Tyler D.

  6. "In-depth knowledge of the law"

    Mark [Schneid] is an excellent and skilled attorney and demonstrated in-depth knowledge of the law when he helped settle my dog bite lawsuit resulting from a traumatic incident. He explained what was needed of me and how I should handle the situation in a professional manner.
    - Karen K.

  7. "They went to bat for me"

    Not long ago I was involved in a car accident where I was hit by a gravel truck at an intersection. After I called Mathys & Schneid, even though I didn't have a very large case, they made me feel like I was one of their most important cases. They went to bat for me with the trucking company's insurance and got me a settlement. I would definitely recommend them to my family and friends. -Dan H.

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