How many people do you believe pass away from medical mistakes and errors every year? You know it happens, but would you say that it’s fairly rare? This is the view most people have. They hardly think about medical errors until they’re about to go in for surgery themselves; then they cannot think of anything else. 

The truth, though, is that these errors are anything but rare. They happen so often that some reports claim that they are the third leading cause of death for people in the United States. The big two still take more lives — cancer and heart disease — but the studies attributed 251,000 annual deaths to medical mistakes. 

Surprised to see it so high? Many people are, but the reality is that healthcare errors are a real threat. People think they’re safe in the hospital, but the opposite could be true. 

Plus, the number above just relates to deaths. You could suffer catastrophic injuries due to an error — a surgeon who amputates the wrong leg, for instance — and still survive the incident. Your life is forever altered. Your medical bills will be massive, but you also have to think about pain and suffering, the loss of enjoyment in life, an inability to work in your chosen career, and the like. Even non-fatal errors are a huge problem. 

If something like this happens to you, or if you lose a loved one, be sure you know what rights you may have to compensation. This is a difficult time, but exploring your options for your financial recovery can help you move forward.