Besides causing injury and suffering to the victim, medical malpractice can be very expensive. A 2013 study in the Journal of the American Medical Association concluded that a surgical patient’s bill more than triples, on average, when there are complications — going from about $17,000 to $56,000.
If the complications that result in additional surgery were due to a preventable error by the surgical team, then it is clear who should pay these extra costs. But often, it is unclear whether an operation went wrong because of medical negligence, the risks of the operation, the patient’s condition, or another reason, as The Washington Post reports.
In those situations, if the hospital refuses to admit fault or offer to help with the bills, the victim’s insurance will likely have to pay. But many people are privately insured through their jobs. And if someone loses his or her job as the result of disabilities sustained during surgery, the only option left may be to pay out of pocket for his or her own botched operation.
It is not always clear after the fact what happened during an operation that went wrong. Many times, the only witnesses are the surgeon, anesthesiologist, nurses and other member of the team — the very people who could face accusations of malpractice. Sometimes it can be difficult for victims to get a clear picture of what happened to them.
However, there may be hope. Malpractice victims should not have to bankrupt themselves paying medical bills for substandard care. Please contact a personal injury attorney for more information.