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The Full Cost of Medical Bills

They say that getting seriously ill is like being robbed; you end up with nothing. The same applies when medical mistakes lead to extended hospital stays, repeated surgeries, long-term medical treatment, or special medical needs. A recent study published in the Journal of Patient Safety states that as many as 210,000 people may die of preventable medical errors a year. For those who suffer from serious complications instead the costs can be high. Unless there are ample financial resources available, it can mean extreme hardship, even bankruptcy for the victim and the family to cope with medical bills.

Most people place their trust in health care professionals, and believe that they know best how to provide the care and treatment needed. The fact is, health care professionals are people who are capable of making mistakes, or who may not be as qualified as they should be.  Medical mistakes can be pressure sores, wrong site surgery, botched surgeries, anesthetic errors, instrument left behind, wrong diagnosis, delayed diagnosis, failure to diagnose, or medication errors.

The full costs of medical negligence is not merely confined with hospital and other medical bills, although those could be quite prohibitive if the consequences of the medical error renders the patient requiring more surgery or confined to intensive care. Other economic damages include the loss of future income as well as lifetime care expenses for the permanently disabled, or otherwise requiring constant medical attention, such as a comatose patient. Even with public healthcare insurance, some of these economic losses can pile up and have a huge impact on a family’s finances.

If you or a family member has been a victim of some type of medical error with serious health and financial consequences, you may have no choice but to seek compensation from the healthcare facility and/or professional involved. Otherwise, you may be left holding the bag and having to declare bankruptcy through no fault of your own.