The Institute of Medicine of the National Academies states that at least one and a half million people are injured each year because of medical errors. The added cost of treating patients for drug-related injuries amounted to well over three billion dollars a year. The committee co-chairperson Linda R. Cronenwett stated that this finding was “cause for serious concern”, considering that the majority of these injuries were preventable. It was also discovered that 400,000 of these malpractice cases happened because of drugs, 800,000 happened in long-term care and 530,000 happened in outpatient clinics.
A report from Medical News Today says that 195,000 people actually die from their medical injuries. These were all deaths due to preventable medical errors. The prevalence of medical injuries killed more people than well-known diseases like diabetes, pneumonia and Alzheimer’s disease.
One can only imagine the pain and suffering of medical malpractice victims, especially surviving families of a fatality. Doctors are supposed to protect us, and put human life ahead of business and convenience. It is only natural to assume that if a doctor or a hospital make such a grave mistake that they would be willing to pay for it through a malpractice lawyer, if for no other reason, than to offer some condolence to injured patients and their families.
Such an assumption would be wrong. In fact, the State Health Facts website (citing several sources including the National Practitioner Data Bank) counted only 11,022 paid claims in the U.S. in the year 2008.
Why do most medical malpractice patients never recover damages through a medical lawyer? The complex process of getting a lawyer is a contributing factor. Medical writer Anthony Larsen’s interview with an attorney Gerry Oginski reveals one primary reason why malpractice claims are never paid. “It is incredibly difficult to prove medical negligence. Doctors and hospitals do not admit negligence. It just does not happen.” attorney Robert G. Shock adds, “90% of doctors sued win their cases.” After all, doctors can afford high priced medical malpractice lawyers.
The odds can definitely intimidate some patients into keeping quiet. The odds can also discourage some new and inexperienced lawyers from taking on difficult cases. In the book “Why Most Medical Malpractice Victims Never Recover a Dime” by Chesley F. Crosbie the author reminds us that medical attorneys are “all different…We turn down way more malpractice cases than we accept.”
The very thought of fighting a powerful system can intimidate some patients and discourage them from even talking to a medical malpractice attorney. Not only must a patient make the effort to file a lawsuit, but the attorney must be confident that other experts in the medical field will testify against the medical doctor. Obviously, many doctors, all too familiar with the pressures of the medical profession, would want to back up their peers—except in cases of blatant negligence.
The Rasansky Law Firm would like to remind you that though proving medical malpractice is no easy feat, it can be done. However, it takes a motivated and highly qualified medical attorney to win this type of case. The Rasansky Law Firm is experienced in handling a wide range of malpractice cases. Recently, Jeffrey Rasansky achieved a gross recovery of $4,500,000 for a client involved in a cerebral palsy case.