Debunking Common Medical Malpractice Myths
Published in medical malpractice on July 19, 2016.
Personal injury attorneys are often called ambulance chasers by those in the medical profession. Some people think that we camp out in hospital emergency rooms, ready to attack hardworking doctors. Like most stereotypes, this simply isn’t true. Here are some common myths about medical malpractice law and why the myths are mistaken:
We Deliver “Crackpot Justice”
There’s an attitude in the medical community that the malpractice system doesn’t dole out justice equally – some will walk away with millions for no reason, while others, who suffer grievously, come away with nothing at all. This is a difficult concept for many to understand, because those who suffer negative health outcomes may be victims of negligence or simply bad luck. Without medical expertise, it’s impossible to determine which is to blame.
Our law firm consults other doctors to pursue medical malpractice cases. The best way to prove negligence is to have a doctor testify that he or she would have performed differently given the same circumstances.
At Nelson & Smith, we’re committed to securing the best outcome for our clients. We only take cases that we believe have merit – ones that have legal grounds, and ones that we think will result in winning a fair settlement. We carefully consider each case and provide closure to families who’ve suffered needlessly.
Reforming the System Will Decrease Health Care Costs
Medical professionals maintain that malpractice costs greatly affect the cost of health care in our country. We know that health care costs in the United States are among the highest in the world, but much of this is due to the nature of insurance companies, not because of the tort system. Malpractice accounts for a mere 2% of health care spending annually: These costs are for malpractice awards and settlements, as well as the legal fees associated with them.
Texas was one of the first states to adopt strict malpractice caps as part of statewide tort reform. The data shows that while Texas has had a dramatic decrease in the number of claims (some 75%), the amount of overall health care spending has not decreased significantly. As of now, there’s no evidence to support that Texas’ tort reform has affected health care spending.
Physicians Are Moving to Areas With Tort Reform En Masse
Since some areas are adopting tort reform, people worry that high-quality doctors will migrate there, leaving other areas of the country underserved and lacking quality care. While it’s true that we’re facing a physician shortage, and that health care providers are moving to places that place caps on malpractice, these reforms are actually helping provide more top-quality care. Cap incentives are driving physicians to rural and underserved markets. While opponents say that a physician migration would poorly affect health outcomes, the opposite appears to be true: Physicians are moving to areas that need them most.
We’re Ambulance Chasers
Contrary to popular opinion, personal injury attorneys are not ambulance chasers. We don’t take medical malpractice cases for the sake of making money or making medical professionals miserable. Before we decide to pursue a case, we take a detailed history and make sure our prospective client has legal grounds for a suit. We practice to serve families and hold practitioners accountable for less than top-quality care.
Personal injury attorneys strive to make the world a better place by helping families in need and punishing wrongdoers. Medical professionals are supposed to be dedicated to doing no harm to their patients, and if they fail in this duty through negligence or gross errors, we need to hold them accountable. If you’ve been a victim of malpractice, you need an impassioned advocate by your side. Contact one of the attorneys at Nelson & Smith for a free case evaluation.