Can You Be Billed for Medical Mistakes?
Medical mistakes are not only a threat to your individual safety, they are also damaging to your wallet. According to an article published by Kaiser Health News, patients are frequently billed for medical mistakes. The article discusses the story of a man who suffered from a surgical error, and ended up on the hook for hundreds of thousands of dollars.
Doctors had punctured the man’s colon while he was undergoing a colonoscopy. To save his life, doctors had to perform emergency surgery. During the surgery, he experienced cardiac arrest. He now suffers from a range of health problems, and requires a pacemaker and multiple stents in his right coronary artery.
Health problems caused by the botched surgery made returning to work as a commercial trucker impossible. This mean he also lost his health insurance coverage. The man and his wife paid close to $600,000 out-of-pocket from this one preventable medical mistake.
Some hospitals may have policies in place that waive or reduce bills associated with medical mistakes. Many do not have these policies. Patients or their family members may have other options to recover costs and hold hospitals accountable for mistakes.
Billed for a Medical Mistake? It May Be Time for a Medical Malpractice Lawsuit
Patients or family members may be able to file medical malpractice lawsuits against hospitals for mistakes. The damages from medical malpractice settlements or awards can help pay for the costs associated with medical mistakes, such as continued care or lost income.
Costs are especially important to consider when children or newborns are harmed by medical mistakes. For example, medical mistakes during birth can cause cerebral palsy, and lead to a lifetime of disability. Settlements can help pay for the costs associated with raising a disabled child. Parents should never be forced to pay for the costs of preventable mistakes.
Florida medical malpractice attorney Richard M. Shapiro has over three decades of experience helping families who have suffered harm from medical negligence.