Fact is, preventable medical errors occur at extremely high rates in the U.S. Hundreds of thousands of injuries are suffered due to these errors every year, and, of these injuries, about 99,000 result in death. Despite these numbers, “tort reformers” have stigmatized victims of medical malpractice who seek to hold medical practitioners responsible if there was medical negligence. In this article, we shed some light on some of the myths regarding medical malpractice.
Medical malpractice lawsuits are just “windfalls” for medical malpractice victims
Not quite. From 2003 to 2008, money awarded in medical malpractice settlements and verdicts dropped by about fifty percent, according to a study by the National Association of Insurance Commissioners. If a medical error has occurred, the injured patient deserves to recover some money, if only to cover the cost of correcting the error. But this is not the only reason to pursue a med mal lawsuit. When a medical error occurs, medical providers are not necessarily forthcoming about their errors.Sometimes the only way to figure out what exactly happened – as well to help ensure it does not happen again – is to engage in a medical malpractice lawsuit.
Verdicts awarded by juries in med mal lawsuits are way too high.
Another huge misconception. An in-depth study of med mal lawsuits in 2005 showed that, on average, a medical error which resulted in a patient’s death earned surviving family members about $195,000. According to the Pennsylvania Association for Justice, only about half of 1% of medical malpractice payouts amount to one million dollars or more.
According to Public Citizen’s Congress Watch on Medical Malpractice in Pennsylvania,the number of medical malpractice cases filed in Philadelphia dropped 58 percent in 2003, as a result of procedural rules changes regarding venues mandated by the State Supreme Court.
There are many more common medical malpractice myths to dispel, so check out the related articles appearing on our website and better understand the importance of seeking justice in a medical negligence situation.