When it comes to medical malpractice, there are a lot of misconceptions people have, including the effect malpractice cases have on the cost of healthcare, how doctors respond to malpractice cases, and which situations actually warrant a lawsuit. Below we have debunked a few myths about this intricate and sometimes complicated area of law so you can gain a better understanding of the value of medical malpractice law.
Medical Malpractice Myths vs. Facts
MYTH: Medical Malpractice Cases Raise Healthcare Costs
FACT: Lawsuits can be expensive, but they’re not as expensive as surgical errors, misdiagnoses, and other dangerous mistakes in the medical world that lead to injury and even death. Those scenarios cost the healthcare industry significantly more money per year than lawsuits. In fact, the cost of lawsuits amounts to less than 0.3% of American health care expenses.
MYTH: Malpractice Suits are Rampant and Exceed Instances of Actual Malpractice
FACT: It’s actually the other way around. The instances of malpractice that are not brought to court are far greater than the amount of medical malpractice cases. That’s due to a number of issues, including that many people just don’t pursue a lawsuit for their injuries and, for those who do seek out legal help, It’s not so easy to launch a malpractice suit. Before a case goes to trial, experts in the field must determine that the case has merit, meaning that the doctor deviated from the usual standard of care expected from that particular practice and that the injury is significant. This barrier is put into place in order to prevent a myriad of questionable malpractice suits. In fact, a study done at the Harvard School of Public Health found that a heavy majority of medical malpractice cases do have merit.
Additionally, it’s not worth it for an attorney to take a case that doesn’t have merit and the potential for earnings. It is highly unlikely for a reputable lawyer to take a frivolous case.
MYTH: You Can Make Big Bucks with a Medical Malpractice Case
FACT: Though you may hear about big numbers in connection to high-profile medical malpractice cases, the truth is that most cases award just enough money to cover medical expenses. It’s rare for a malpractice case to earn in the millions.
MYTH: Malpractice Issues Can’t Be Prevented
FACT: Malpractice laws exist to protect patients in areas where action can be taken to make sure damaging errors don’t happen. Better communication, preparation, and spending more attentive time with patients are all ways in which medical errors can be prevented.
MYTH: Malpractice Cases Cause Higher Insurance Premiums for Doctors
FACT: Insurance premiums have gone up for doctors, but not because of malpractice suits. It has more to do with investment returns. Actually, malpractice claims have gone down even though insurance premiums for doctors have continued to rise. The economics of the healthcare world has much more to do with the cost of insurance premiums that malpractice suits.
There’s a lot of misinformation and unfounded beliefs about the world of medical malpractice. If you are injured due to medical malpractice, you have rights that can provide you with compensation for your damages, and you should not let myths and misconceptions prevent you from seeking your legal benefits. Experienced attorneys like the ones at Goldberg and Chase Law can fight for you to receive all to which you are legally entitled.