From negligence at birth that can cause physical and mental deformities to negligence in reading x-rays and lab tests that can allow serious diseases and conditions to worsen (or possibly lead to death) if left untreated, it is increasingly important for medical doctors to insure themselves and their skills because they will be sued at some point in their careers. Medical malpractice costs are on the rise in the U.S.
Paying for excellent medical malpractice and personal injury lawyers increases malpractice costs in order to have someone who is highly experienced to handle these types of cases. The same is true for doctors who pay higher malpractice costs in their insurance premiums to ensure they win their cases and can afford it if they lose their cases.
A 90% Success Rate
“90% of doctors sued win their cases,” according to attorney Robert G. Shock, an Oakland, CA Medical Malpractice lawyer who won a case for $3-million for a patient. “It is expensive to handle malpractice cases.” In order to win a case, top-notch experts in the medical field are needed to testify against medical doctors, not just paid individuals who get to testify as experts. This can also add to malpractice costs.
According to Alison Mynick, a registered nurse and personal injury lawyer in Rockport, Maine, improper reading of x-rays and test results can sometimes take 3 to 5 years or more before being corrected, and cancers and other diseases and conditions can worsen in this time frame before being treated. Usually it takes until the next episode or the condition to noticeably worsen before the error is caught. This adds to rising medical malpractice costs.
How Malpractice Affects the Patient
Doctors can rush through individual cases and miss possible treatments and proper diagnosis, which leads to medical malpractice cases. Follow-up treatment for the injured person, such as x-rays, labs and tests, consultations with a doctor for second and sometimes third opinions, proper prescriptions, surgeries, and rehabilitation after the initial negligence from medical personnel is extremely costly and adds to recoverable malpractice costs. Unfortunately, most patients never recover a cent in their cases, according to Attorney Gerry Oginski, a personal injury lawyer in New York. “It is incredibly difficult to prove negligence. Doctors and hospitals do not admit negligence. It just does not happen.”