Medical

Life Insurance & Medical Malpractice: Everything You Need to Know

Life insurance may not be a topic many people wish to think about, particularly in their young adult years, but it’s still important. Unlike car and home insurance, which typically follow the purchase of a large investment, it’s quite common for people to put off buying life insurance—or not buying it at all. 

It’s understandably difficult for people in the prime of their lives to face the reality of their own mortality, but if two things are certain in the world, they are death and taxes, the latter of which inevitably follows the first if you don’t keep your loved ones protected in the case of your unexpected death.

According to a Life Insurance Statistics and Facts report, about 43% of American adults have not purchased a life insurance policy. Since 2011, rates of life insurance ownership has steadily decreased, with only a slight upward climb in 2016.  Of those who do own life insurance policies, some decide to sell their policy for a lump sum payment through companies like American Life Fund.

During times of economic crisis, life insurance is one of the first priorities to be abandoned. Should you die without warning and without sufficient protection, your surviving relatives could be left to contend with final expenses and a mortgage on the family home. Any assets you have would become the problem of your closest living relatives, causing bitter disputes and financial chaos in your family.

How common is unexpected death?

Causes of sudden death in seemingly healthy adults are widespread and varied, ranging from undiagnosed heart arrhythmias to heart attacks and strokes to tragic vehicular accidents. One of the lesser known causes of unexpected death is rarely discussed in polite company, probably because we all secretly hope we never have to deal with it. We’d like to believe that our doctors can be trusted completely with our lives, but they are only human. Occasionally, either by intention or omission, they make mistakes.

The third leading cause of death in America is one your general practitioner doesn’t want you to know about. Medical malpractice is defined as professional negligence by a physician or health care provider that adversely affects the patient. It’s rare that a case of medical negligence becomes international news, but it’s much more common than most Americans are comfortable with. 

While you may imagine medical malpractice to involve extreme gore, such as accidental amputations and pulled teeth, cases are generally much quieter and the effects potentially deadlier over the long term.

Medical and surgical errors

The Institute of Medicine estimates that errors in prescribing medication make up the vast majority of medical malpractice cases, meaning that if you’re a regular visitor to your pharmacy, you are at greater risk. A full half of medical malpractice cases filed are against surgeons, indicating that even routine operations occasionally go wrong. 

Most people who routinely take prescription medication, even at low doses, have reported instances in which they didn’t feel as though their physician had their best interests at heart. The opiate and benzodiazepine crisis in Middle America is one example of doctors overprescribing highly addictive medication without proper counsel. 

Often, we accept our doctor’s advice without hesitation, assuming that eight years of higher education has provided him or her with almost unquestionable authority. However, doctors are not above error, and certainly not above the law; if you feel you have already experienced negligence at the hands of a healthcare provider, you are advised to pursue legal action. If you’re in the Middle Tennessee area, a reputable Nashville medical malpractice lawyer will help you build a case.

The No. 1 strategy to avoid accidental death at a young age is to eat well, stay in shape, and regularly visit your doctor. However, as the old adage says, the difference between medicine and poison is the dose. If your physician causes you harm through negligence, and you don’t have a life insurance policy, your family may suffer the consequences for years to come.

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