There are a lot of misconceptions out there about malpractice law, the type of compensation that people receive and how it impacts the costs of healthcare for everybody involved. Recently, reporters found that the reforms to medical malpractice law in Texas have not resulted in any cost savings whatsoever for people in the state. Limiting malpractice compensation is oftentimes offered as a way to reduce the cost of healthcare for everybody. So far, no empirical evidence bears that out. This is only one of the many misconceptions around compensation for medical malpractice that people tend to have.
Millions Upon Millions
When you read news reports about people receiving millions and millions of dollars because of having filed a malpractice claim, you’re getting a skewed perspective. It’s not because the news is trying to deceive you; it’s because the stories are actually pretty interesting. Most of the time, the settlements for medical malpractice are not so dramatic. In fact, a jury will generally give an award that is based upon how much the person actually suffered, how much the malpractice actually cost them and how much the malpractice may cost them in the future. This may not be anywhere near the millions of dollars you would expect if you only got your medical malpractice information from the media.
Another popular misconception is that good doctors cannot practice medicine freely anymore because they’re so afraid of being sued. Not only is this inaccurate, it rather casts the entire judicial system as ragingly incompetent. Juries decide whether or not a plaintiff gets an award. You do not simply file a lawsuit, go to court and collect a check. A jury of your peers will determine if you were wronged, if being wronged by the physician or healthcare facility amounted to a breach of their duties to you and if you suffered as a result of that breach of duty.
Lawyers for medical malpractice are sometimes the only recourse that people who were harmed by a negligent doctor or healthcare facility have. If you want a figure that ranges into millions and millions of dollars, you can take a look at the costs of the damage that medical malpractice can do to people. Without the ability to sue in court, people who were harmed by a doctor because of no action of their own would be stuck paying these costs and, in many cases, it would probably bankrupt them or worse.