We trust our doctors and other healthcare professionals to always be acting in our best interests during our most critical times of need. It is that faith in their expertise and level of care that makes medical malpractice such a painful ordeal for its victims, both medically and financially.
Sadly, evidence suggests that medical malpractice is increasing; payouts in medical malpractice cases totaled nearly $3.9 billion dollars in the United States in 2014, according to a report from Diederich Insurance Agency, a leading provider of medical malpractice insurance. That is up 4.4 percent from 2013’s figures, which were themselves up 4.7 percent from 2012. Medical malpractice payouts actually declined significantly each year from 2003 to 2012, but that trend has reversed itself over the past several years. And keep in mind that medical malpractice cases are only filed when major harm has been inflicted on the patient.
One in 3 medical malpractice cases are brought about by incorrect diagnoses, according to Diederich. Nearly 1 in 4 stem from issues with surgery, while about 1 in 5 are the result of incorrect treatment.
In a 2010 survey by the American Medical Association, 6 out of 10 physicians reported that they had been named in a malpractice suit at some point in their careers. It’s more likely that your doctor has been sued for malpractice than not.
Medical malpractice cases are among the toughest for attorneys to take on. It can be very difficult to prove medical negligence, and the deep pockets of insurance companies means they can afford to – and do – drag out the legal process as long as possible. About 3 out of 5 malpractice suits are abandoned by the plaintiffs; cases can drag on for years, and if victory isn’t assured, the potential for staggering legal costs can lead many people to simply give up a claim rather than risk further loss.
That is just one reason that effective legal counsel makes all the difference in your medical malpractice lawsuit. Having someone on your side who knows the ins and outs of the insurance industry and the courts can help increase the chances that you will see justice for your injuries.
When you visit a doctor, you trust an experienced professional to make decisions that can dramatically impact your life. Shouldn’t you do the same when that doctor fails you and you need to resort to legal action? If you or a loved one has been injured or killed by a suspected act of medical malpractice, contact the attorneys at Myers Lafferty at 888-290-6888.