Last month, a report about medical errors made waves in the healthcare community. It was found that roughly 251,000 deaths in the U.S. are caused by medical errors. In 1999, a study found that only 98,000 people died from medical errors. Now, this doesn’t mean medical errors are more common today than 17 years ago. But what it does mean is that the reporting of such errors is becoming more accurate over time.

With that said, the 251,000 deaths by medical errors make these errors the third leading cause of death in the U.S. Only heart disease (614,000 deaths per year) and cancer (591,000 deaths per year) are more fatal.

Medical errors are a huge problem right now, and even though we have such highly trained and specialized medical professionals, it doesn’t mean they are immune to making mistakes. They are people just like everyone else, and they are going to have off days and mistake-prone moments. Just because they are nurses, doctors or surgeons doesn’t make them perfect.

When patient suffers injury or negative medical consequences as a result of a medical error, it can change their life. They are in pain and they are suffering, and all because the medical professional they trusted couldn’t complete the job in a proper way.

These victims of medical malpractice or medical errors need to consider the legal ramifications of their unfortunate episode. A lawsuit can not only hold the negligent medical professionals responsible for their substandard actions, but it can earn you the compensation you need to deal with the medical bills and rehabilitation necessary to recover.

Source: Huffington Post, “Medical Errors Are The Third Leading Cause Of Death — How You Can Avoid Them,” Cary A. Presant, July 21, 2016