Heart disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women in the U.S. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), about 600,000 Americans die from heart disease each year. That’s roughly 6 million people in a decade, which is equivalent to the entire population of El Salvador or Paraguay.
Cardiologists are medical doctors who specialize in the treatment of conditions related to the cardiovascular system, including the heart, arteries, and veins. There are strict medical license requirements that must be met before allowing a cardiologist to practice medicine and treat patients.
Even with all that training, though, doctors are human—they make mistakes. And cardiac doctors and specialists are not immune to errors. Errors may take the form of misdiagnoses and failure to treat. And in the field of cardiology, this can spell big trouble for patients whose very lives depend on following the doctor’s orders. Luckily, patients have an advocate in the Philadelphia cardiology malpractice attorney with the Weitz Firm.
There are about 40,000 cardiologists working in the U.S. to treat patients diagnosed with heart problems and prevent deaths related to medical conditions in the cardiovascular system.
“While it cannot be said that all deaths from heart disease are preventable, many of them are, which is why there is an ever-increasing number of medical malpractice lawsuits against cardiologists who failed to provide appropriate care and treatment, which led to complications or even death,” says our Philadelphia cardiology malpractice attorney at The Weitz Firm, LLC.
A report cited by Cardiovascular Business in 2018 showed that cardiology-related medical malpractice lawsuits were up more than 90 percent from a decade ago. More disturbingly, the number of medical malpractice suits against cardiologists continues to climb each year. Researchers explain this phenomenon by arguing that there has been a rise of “defensive medicine,” which is the practice of cardiologists and other doctors treating their patients in a way to avoid liability rather than providing the most beneficial and high-quality medical care.
At the same time, the quality of healthcare in the U.S. is declining at an exponential rate due to this “defensive medicine” strategy. It is no secret that many acute coronary symptoms and signs of cardiovascular problems are often misdiagnosed as stomach problems.
Our experienced cardiology malpractice attorney in Philadelphia has outlined the most common symptoms of heart disease to watch out for:
When you go to a cardiologist with any of these symptoms, but the cardiologist fails to give importance to your complaints or delays diagnosis or treatment, that cardiologist is breaching his or her duty of care. In Pennsylvania, medical professionals must adhere to the accepted standards of care and ensure the patient’s safety.
Failure to diagnose a heart disease is not the only form of cardiology malpractice, as other types of this medical malpractice include but are not limited to:
Recovering compensation for damages in a cardiac medical malpractice claim may involve negotiating with the insurance carrier for the doctor (or the hospital, clinic, other entity where the doctor works) to arrive at a fair and just settlement. When negotiations go south and no settlement can be worked out, the Weitz Firm’s Philadelphia cardiology malpractice attorney takes cases to the litigation phase, relying on years of courtroom experience to get the best possible outcome for every client.
Damages in a cardiac malpractice case may be both economic and non-economic, depending on the circumstances. Economic compensation recovered may include:
Compensation for non-economic damages may include monetary payments for loss of enjoyment in life, pain and suffering, and loss of consortium and companionship. In some cases where extreme disregard for human life is evident, the courts may also offer punitive damages as a way to penalize the defendant in the case and deter the same or similar behavior in the future.
Unfortunately, cardiac malpractice can also lead to death. If you lost a family member due to medical malpractice, you may be able to collect compensation for your family’s loss. Generally, a surviving spouse, child, or parent can file a wrongful death claim against the doctor, hospital, clinic, or other entity deemed to shoulder responsibility for the death. Damages in a wrongful death claim generally include the loss of the deceased’s income and other contributions to the family.
Proving that your cardiologist committed medical malpractice may not be as easy as it seems, which is why it is highly advised to consult with a Philadelphia medical malpractice lawyer to get an aggressive and results-driven attorney working on your case to recover damages on your behalf. Schedule a free consultation with our lawyers at The Weitz Firm, LLC, by calling at 267-587-6240.