Heart disease is a major problem that costs lives all across the nation, including the state of Texas. A heart attack or stroke can kill in the blink of an eye, especially without treatment or if the wrong treatment is given. Patients have to rely on the skills and expertise of cardiologists, doctors who are specially trained to treat heart and circulatory diseases, and an error in diagnosis or treatment can dramatically impact the chance for survival or a normal life. In some cases, these errors may be considered medical malpractice, and injured patients have the right to pursue a lawsuit and recover financial damages related to the mistake.
Heart Disease Statistics
As doctors who specialize in the treatment and prevention of heart attacks, strokes, and other cardiovascular issues, cardiologists have a great responsibility to bear. The American Heart Association reports that one out of every three deaths were related to cardiovascular disease in 2017, costing approximately 800,000 lives in the United States, and cardiovascular disease accounts for as many as 31 percent of all deaths on a global level.
In the state of Texas, data from our Department of State Health Services shows that 41 out of every 100,000 people died of a heart attack every year between 2009 and 2015, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) records show that heart disease was the number one killer of Texans in 2016, causing nearly 44,000 deaths. Strokes were the number three killer in Texas, causing over 10,000 deaths.
What Is Medical Malpractice?
Medical malpractice is legally considered a form of negligence, or a careless act that results in an injury to someone that could have been prevented if the responsible party had acted in a reasonable or safe manner. In a medical situation, this means that a doctor or other healthcare professional either acts or fails to act in such a way as to violate the standards of care and cause harm to a patient.
Here are some situations in which a cardiologist may be held responsible for medical malpractice:
- Failure to diagnose a stroke or heart attack
- Failure to correctly interpret an EKG or other test results
- An improper delay in the diagnosis of heart disease
- Surgical mistakes, such as forgotten swabs or instruments
- Unnecessary surgical procedures
- Improper stent placement
- Failure to monitor a known condition appropriately
It’s important to note that not every accident, error, or poor outcome in a medical situation may be considered malpractice. If a doctor acts in a way that is consistent with the standards of his or her profession and the patient still doesn’t recover, it’s unlikely to be considered medical malpractice. If you’re unsure about your own situation, consult with a personal injury attorney, who can investigate your claim and explain your legal options.
Making a Medical Malpractice Claim
In order to make a successful medical malpractice claim, three important elements must be demonstrated in a court of law:
- Breach of duty. You must show that your cardiologist failed to act in a way consistent with how any other similarly trained doctor would have acted when faced with the same situation.
- Causation. The doctor’s breach of duty must have been what lead to your injury, not some other cause.
- Damages. You must be able to show the court that you suffered some form of damage that can be compensated for financially.
Some examples of damages that you may be able to recover include hospital bills and doctor’s visits, physical therapy or rehabilitation costs, skilled nursing or long-term care assistance, lost wages due to time spent away from work, lost future earning capacity if you are unable to work, and other expenses related to the incident. Consult with a personal injury attorney for more information
Get Legal Help Today
If you’ve been injured or lost a loved one due to the medical malpractice of a cardiologist or other healthcare professional, know that you are not alone. Wayne Wright LLP has been protecting the rights of those who have been hurt by medical malpractice for decades, and we are here to help you and your family seek justice in a court of law. For a free, no-obligation consultation with an experienced legal professional, call us by phone, use our contact form to send an email, or click the live chat box on this page right now.