A recent malpractice study published in the New England Journal of Medicine reveals that most doctors get sued at least once in their career. Doctors that specialize in high-risk procedures are nearly 100% likely to be sued for malpractice. And though this statistic would seem to suggest large court ordered payments, only 22% of malpractice lawsuits yield some sort of payment, either by settlement or jury award.
But, the study’s authors stress that lack of success in court does not reflect a saturation of frivolous claims—the high costs of filing malpractice suits are to blame. Filing suit and hiring expert witnesses are both expensive, and medical error can be very hard to prove. But, malpractice suits that are filed affect the culture of medicine, and sometimes increase health care costs. One way they drive up medical costs is by encouraging doctors to order more tests than required and retire earlier than necessary—what’s known in the industry as “defensive medicine.”
The New England Journal of Medicine malpractice study concludes by asking potential plaintiffs think about what they want out of a malpractice suit: information, apologies, or just money to rebuild. Malpractice is a slightly different than other kinds of negligence, because, as a rule, doctors don’t set out to hurt people; pharmaceutical companies and major manufacturers generally have fewer scruples than individuals doing their jobs. Nevertheless, malpractice does occur, and a malpractice lawsuit is the only way to pursue compensation. And sometimes malpractice suits change medical practice for the good.
If you or someone you care for has suffered an injury as a result of negligence, you have options. Contact Mike Agruss Law, at 312-224-4695 for a free consultation. We are a Chicago injury law firm representing individuals and families who have suffered an injury or loss due to an accident. Mike Agruss Law, will handle your personal injury case quickly, will advise you every step of the way, and will not hesitate to go to trial for you. Lastly, Mike Agruss Law, does not get paid attorney’s fees unless we win your case. Our no-fee promise is that simple. Therefore, you have nothing to risk when you hire us–just the opportunity to seek justice.