Having to go to the hospital can set anyone in Lafayette on edge. After all, it’s not something one does on a regular basis, and going to see a medical professional often means that there’s something wrong. The good news is that medical professionals are highly educated and thoroughly trained, and they are often able to utilized the most recent technologies to assist them in providing the best medical care possible. The bad news is that medical professionals are far from perfect. In fact, they can act or fail to act in a way that causes serious harm to patients. Sometimes those mistakes result in death.

Many of these errors are referred to as “never events” because, as the name implies, they should never, under any circumstance, occur. These typically include wrong-site surgeries, retained surgical instruments, medication errors and hospital falls. As these unforgiveable events continue to occur, many hospitals are implementing new policies to try to curtail the harm caused.

Amongst these policies, hospitals typically apologize to a patient, report the incident to an outside agency so that it can be assessed further, perform an investigation into the cause of the error, waive all costs related to the patient’s treatment and provide the policy to the victim. Yet, only 80 percent of hospitals adhere to these policies, and, quite frankly, these steps are not enough to make up for what could leave a victim with a worsened medical condition, pain and suffering or disfigurement.

This is why even if a hospital waives all medical expenses, a medical malpractice victims should consider filing a lawsuit. A successful claim could result in the recovery of additional damages, including pain and suffering and lost wages. Thus, those who have fallen victim to a never event may want to discuss the matter with their attorney.

Source: The Leapfrog Group, “Never Events,” accessed on Aug. 20, 2016