Despite the trust that patients place in doctors’ hands, medical professionals still end up making mistakes that harm patients. In New Jersey and across the country, medical errors continue to persist, sometimes caused by a doctor’s lack of sleep.
Physicians cause most medical errors
Nurses, medical technicians and other medical professionals have little input in how to treat patients. Instead of making treatment decisions, these workers closely follow doctors’ orders. This common practice results in doctors being responsible for most medical errors.
A recent study from JAMA Network Open asked over 11,000 doctors across the country about their sleep habits. Of these 11,000 physicians, roughly 7,700 answered questions about their own medical errors.
Ultimately, the study found that doctors with mild sleep deprivation were 53% more likely to carry out a medical error. Of the study’s participants, respondents with the most extreme levels of sleep deprivation were up to 97% more likely to cause medical errors. In addition to permanently harming patients, these errors can give patients the legal basis to file personal injury lawsuits against them.
Here’s how medical errors can lead to medical malpractice lawsuits
The vast majority of medical errors don’t permanently harm patients; most of these mistakes don’t even cause substantial short-term effects. When medical mishaps do lead to injuries that affect patients’ lives in major ways, patients can hold hospitals and doctors accountable in civil court.
With the help of attorneys, patients can file medical malpractice lawsuits that ask for money to cover their injuries. Although the ultimate payout varies between cases, settlements from cases that go to trial average as much as $799,000.
Nobody wants to find themselves on the receiving end of a medical error. If you do, however, a lawyer may instruct you regarding your legal options.