Facts and Myths About Medical Malpractice

There are many misconceptions related to various areas of the law, especially medical malpractice. Certain myths related to medical malpractice have the potential to prevent individuals from seeking compensation to which they may be entitled when any healthcare professional makes a mistake that causes harm that may last an entire lifetime.

No person wants to experience the type of mistake or negligence that would give rise to a medical malpractice case. However, it is important to know the truth about medical malpractice cases to separate fact from fiction. When you consider that no human being is free from mistakes and that medicine is not an exact science, it is just a fact of life that medical errors occur despite most healthcare providers genuinely caring about their patients’ health and well-being.

One fact that truly is not a myth is that professional malpractice laws are intended to help protect patients from harm and allow them recourse when they are injured. Powell Law features James F. Mundy, Esq., one of Pennsylvania’s leading litigators of medical malpractice cases. Some other medical malpractice myths are as follows:

Medical malpractice lawsuits increase the cost of health care in the United States.

The legal costs incurred by the health care industry for legal counsel, settlements, and jury awards amounts to just more than $7 billion annually, which is less than 0.3% of the total $2.2 trillion in annual health care spending in America.

Doctors pay higher insurance premiums because of medical malpractice claims.

It is common knowledge that insurance premiums typically increase with any claim. However, medical malpractice insurance premiums have risen dramatically because of economic conditions rather than settlements and jury awards. Insurance companies generate profits from premiums and investments rather than limiting medical practice awards. Between 2000 and 2010, insurance premiums for health care providers increased more than 120% while claims settlements and jury verdict payments decreased by nearly 15%.

Most medical malpractice lawsuits are frivolous.

A medical malpractice lawsuit rarely proceeds unless a determination by a medical professional establishes that there is sufficient evidence to warrant the underlying cause of action against the negligent healthcare provider, whether a physician or health care facility. Medical malpractice lawsuits in Pennsylvania require the plaintiff to file a certificate of merit to establish a medical malpractice claim’s viability.

Capping jury verdicts will lower the insurance rates of doctors, who will pass their savings to their patients.

States that have capped malpractice lawsuits at a maximum of $250,000 have average annual medical malpractice insurance premiums that are actually higher than states without caps on damage awards. After the Texas Legislature passed medical malpractice caps at $250,000, America’s largest medical malpractice insurance provider admitted to the Texas Insurance Commission that settlements and jury verdicts had virtually no effect on annual premiums. Nonetheless, they then requested to raise premiums to doctors by almost 20 percent.

For 115 years, the experienced personal injury attorneys at Powell Law have provided valuable assistance to residents of Northeastern Pennsylvania seeking to recover damages for injuries or harm caused by any type of tort, whether based on intentional or negligent conduct, or actions for which strict or absolute liability may be imposed. Contact Powell Law at (570) 961-0777 or visit us online. Call now for a FREE case evaluation. You don’t pay unless we win!

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