There’s a secret that your doctor or hospital doesn’t want you to know. Medical malpractice is the third-leading cause of death in this country. Depending on which study you look at, medical errors claim between 250,000 and 440,000 innocent victims every year.

Most of the time, their family members have no idea. People are largely conditioned to believe that “bad things happen,” especially when someone is already in ill health, so they blame the victim’s disease and not the doctor or another health professional who made a mistake. And, most of the time, death certificates list the technical cause of death — like “heart failure” — while ignoring the possibility that the heart failure was caused by someone’s errors.

If your loved one passed away unexpectedly while in a hospital or under a doctor’s care, you need to ask questions to make sure that medical mistakes aren’t behind your loss. Some signs that you may be dealing with malpractice include:

  • The doctor’s diagnosis changed suddenly, indicating that their earlier diagnosis was incorrect and possibly led to incorrect treatment.
  • The victim’s illness wasn’t properly diagnosed until it was in the advanced stages, even though the victim had sought treatment for the symptoms earlier.
  • The victim had an unusual reaction to a medication, which suggests that they may have been given the wrong medication or the wrong dose
  • The victim suffered consequences that the doctor never even mentioned were possible, which implies that there was a lack of informed consent.

Despite the fact that doctors and hospitals are supposed to be candid with patients and their families, they seldom admit to causing someone’s death. If you’re suspicious that your loved one is a victim of malpractice, find out how an attorney can help.