Debunking medical malpractice myths unraveling the false premises behind tort reform

Medical malpractices cases have been always marred with controversies. While some were intentionally provoked while few others were complicated in nature. Adding to complexities is the fact that malpractices laws differ with every state. Hence, if certain things are true for one state, it may not be same everywhere. Many people are confused due to lack of sufficient knowledge. Hence, we thought of busting a few medical malpractice myths for your reference.

Misconception # 1: Most medical malpractice cases are fraudulent.

Contrary to popular belief, most of the medical malpractice cases that are represented in court are genuine. Malpractice cases are highly complex and expensive. It is complex as the sufferer is expected to prove that the medical practitioner was expected to perform a particular duty under standard medical care but failed in his duty. Hence, unless the lawyers find sufficient evidence that proves the negligence of the doctor, no case will be filed in the court.

Misconception #2: Medical Malpractice suits have to led to an increase in medical costs.

As discussed earlier, the nature of medical malpractice cases is highly complex. Hence, very few cases actually get admitted and even lesser cases are actually proved. Also, the number of cases filed under medical malpractice has not risen significantly. It has been more or less stable in almost all states. Some people may think that medical costs have risen due to the doctors paying penalties or choosing premiums towards insurance. However, this is not the overall picture.

Misconception #3: All the medical staff members who examined you should be charged under malpractice case.

As per the conditions that make a valid case, only those medical staff members who are directly involved in the negligence or the ones who takes the final decision, should be charged for the malpractice case. Every team member cannot be held responsible. However, if a case is filed, these team members will have to give testimonies as to how they perceived the case and how they discharged their responsibilities well.

Misconception # 4: Every party in the case wants a settlement.

This statement may be true up to a level as medical malpractice cases are highly complex, expensive, time consuming and lead to reputation damage. Hence, there are few occasions where the claimant or defendant prefers to make an out of court settlement. However, if either party believes that they have a strong case then they may pursue a legal battle. A claimant may fight for justice or a defendant may fight against a fraudulent case.

Misconception # 5: Only doctors can be held responsible for medical malpractice.

Any health care member can be held responsible for malpractice as long as he was directly involved in causing injury. The member can be a medical practitioner, nurse, pharmacist, technician or a member of the management. However, if you are pressing charges you must have sufficient proof to prove the person’s actual responsibility and the negligence caused.

Misconception #6: Only the medical records are sufficient as proofs to fight cases.

There are several evidences one must gather to make a case strong. You must prove the standard of care applicable to your case. Differentiate between what should have been done ideally and what actually took place. Besides, several states such as Michigan or Pennsylvania demand an ‘Affidavit of Merit’, which refers to a third party’s opinion about the authenticity of the case. Also, different medical experts related to the case or otherwise, must give testimonies to ensure fair decision.

Misconception # 7: Filing medical malpractice lawsuit is unaffordable.

Many sufferers who have been through severe physical and emotional turmoil often refuse to file a case following financial reasons. They think that they do not stand a chance against the hospitals who boast better resources. However, the picture is not so remorseful. Most medical malpractice lawyers do not demand fees immediately. In fact they are paid contingency fees, which means that if the claimant wins the case only then the lawyer receives a certain share of the claims or the settlement amount. If the case is lost, the plaintiff is not liable for any expenses towards the lawyer.

The protocols of fighting a medical malpractice case will differ as you change the state. Hence, we thought of presenting common medical malpractice myths that will help you judge the validity of case and fight your case without missing out on any crucial aspects of medical malpractice law.