If you need emergency medical care, you normally don’t get to choose when to seek out care. However, if you have a choice on the timing of planned or elective medical care, you might want to consider avoiding scheduling procedures or treatments during the holiday. Unfortunately, more medical mistakes are made during the holiday season, especially over the Thanksgiving weekend and around Christmas and New Year’s. But why is medical malpractice more likely during the holiday season?
Why Might Medical Malpractice Be More Likely During the Holidays?
Medical errors tend to be more common over the holidays due to a few factors, including:
- Decreased staffing: As most of a hospital’s staff will want to take holidays off, many facilities will reduce their staffing numbers over the holiday to accommodate staff requests for time off.
- Inexperienced or temporary staffers: The staffers who do work over holidays tend to be younger staff with less seniority, who also don’t have as much experience as more tenured staff. Hospitals may also bring in temporary or per diem staff to try to supplement staffing numbers when regular staff take time off during the holidays.
- Increased patient numbers: Unfortunately, right as many hospitals run on lower staff numbers during the holidays, patient admissions tend to rise, as people are injured due to the spike in auto accidents caused by holiday travel, by burns and lacerations and other injuries suffered while cooking holiday meals, by sports injuries suffered in backyard pickup games, or by injuries suffered in alcohol-fueled fights or assaults at home.
- Lack of diagnostic services: Many hospitals may close their diagnostic services or run on reduced capacity over holiday weekends, meaning that testing and results take a lot longer, potentially delaying life-saving treatment.
- Teaching hospitals: Hospitals that are affiliated with a medical school may see a significant drop in staffing levels and capability, as interns, residents, and attending physicians take time off in accordance with the holiday break of the affiliated medical school.
What Are Your Rights If You or a Loved One Were Injured by Medical Malpractice?
If you or a loved one were harmed by medical malpractice that occurred while seeking treatment over the holidays, you and your family may be entitled to recover compensation for expenses and losses incurred or expected to be incurred in the future due to injuries or health conditions inflicted by medical negligence. This compensation might cover:
- Costs of medical treatment and rehabilitation for physical injury or health conditions that were caused or worsened by negligent medical care or delayed diagnosis/misdiagnosis.
- Costs of long-term care that may be required for permanent disabilities or chronic health conditions that result from negligent medical care.
- Lost wages or income from time missed from work while recovering from negligent medical treatment.
- Loss of earning ability due to permanent disabilities affecting capacity to work.
- Physical pain.
- Emotional trauma and suffering.
- Lost enjoyment or quality of life because of permanent, visible scarring or disfigurement, permanent physical or cognitive disabilities, or reduced life expectancy.
Contact A Medical Malpractice Attorney for a Consultation About Your Case in Florida
Were you or a loved one injured due to medical malpractice in Florida? Then you need to talk to an experienced medical malpractice lawyer as soon as possible for guidance on how to proceed. The Fort Lauderdale medical malpractice attorneys at Lawlor, White & Murphey are prepared to assist you with your legal claim. We represent victims of negligent surgeons, doctors, nurses, and pharmacists throughout Florida, including Pembroke Pines, Pompano Beach, Plantation, and Coconut Creek. Call us today at (954) 525-2345 or fill out our online contact form to schedule a consultation. Our main office is located at 2211 Davie Blvd., Fort Lauderdale, FL 33312, and we also have offices in Pembroke Pines, Weston, Coconut Creek, Plantation, and Pompano Beach.
The articles on this blog are for informative purposes only and are no substitute for legal advice or an attorney-client relationship. If you are seeking legal advice, please contact our law firm directly.