Medical Malpractice Cases – Prevent or Encourage Medical Errors?

Medical malpractice cases are more prevalent than most people would care to know. According to the Institute of Medicine, nearly 100,000 patients die each year because of medical malpractice. Another 1.5 million are injured as a result of a medical professional’s negligence.

If you are injured, or your health is compromised by a medical professional’s negligence, your case may qualify as medical malpractice, and you may be entitled to receive compensation for your medical expenses, time off work, future medical costs, pain and suffering, and more. An experienced medical malpractice lawyers should review your case to see if it meets the legal requirements for medical malpractice.

Do medical malpractice (tort) actions prevent or encourage Medical Errors?

Well, it depends who you ask… Most medical malpractice lawyers and plaintiffs would say that medical tort actions serve two purposes:

  • Provide a deterrent and an additional safeguard against medical mistakes; and
  • Compensate the victim.

Thus, attorneys and plaintiffs alike would agree that medical tort actions serve to prevent medical errors. However, Doctors constantly argue the opposite. When asked the question, most doctors would state that these actions:

  • Drive up the cost of medical care;
  • Have created mounds of needless paperwork;
  • Cause the Doctor to focus on potential liability rather than upon the patient. Thus, they require Doctors to “Cover Themselves” by ordering numerous expensive tests with low probability yield and more specialist evaluations. This leads to more time spent by Doctors and patients and lower diagnostic efficiency.
  • Often inappropriately exclude the concept that Doctors are human, and that even in the best of circumstances, medical malpractice cases and negative outcomes can occur, but should not be the basis for liability if proper care was delivered.

Cover all the possibilities

Good doctors realize the consequences of medical error and therefore, “cover all the possibilities” and make sure that “no stone is unturned” in their approach to patient care. They may ask all the right questions, perform all the right tests, ensure that they receive and properly interpret all results, coordinate care with other health …

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