7 Medical Malpractice Myths & Facts

Despite medical malpractice becoming increasingly more common in today's court rooms, a large percentage of the population has misconceptions about this type of litigation. The following represent the seven most common malpractice myths and their truths.

#1: Medical Malpractice Lawyers are "Ambulance Chasers"

Although the media paints medical malpractice lawyers as being greedy "ambulance chasers," the truth is, medical malpractice attorneys reject between 80 and 97% of the cases they are presented.

#2: Most Medical Malpractice Lawsuits are Frivolous

With just 3 to 20% of all medical malpractice claims being accepted by attorneys for representation, the ones that do make it to court have merit as being legitimate cases of negligence. According to a study conducted by researchers at Harvard, it was found that of the 1,400 medical malpractice cases it studied, 80% of them involved death or a serious life-altering injury.

#3: More People File Medical Malpractice Claims Than Actually Have Such Claims

Actually, only one in eight people who are injured as a result of medical negligence file a claim. Although they are becoming more common, medical malpractice cases still only account for just 3% of the civil tort caseload.

#4: Medical Malpractice Cases Result in Outrageous Damages

Many people believe that medical malpractice cases, when successful, result in outrageously high damages. The truth is that the damages are quite low when one considers the victim's pain and suffering. For instance, in 2005, the average award for a substantial permanent injury was $215,000. In cases where the victim was rendered a quadriplegic, brain damaged, or in need of life-long care, the average award was $635,000. In cases where the victim died at the hands of medical professionals, the award averaged just $195,000.

#5: Medical Malpractice Lawsuits are Causing Health Insurance Premiums to Skyrocket

The country spends approximately $2.2 trillion in healthcare. The total amount spent defending medical malpractice claims is $7.1 billion. In reality, medical malpractice accounts for just 0.3% of the country's healthcare spending versus the $29 billion spent on problems caused by preventable medical errors.

#6: Threats of Medical Malpractice are Causing "Good" Doctors to Stop Practicing

In 2007, there were 307 doctors per 100,000 people in the United States. That number is an all-time high. The truth is, just 6% of doctors are responsible for roughly 60% of all malpractice payments. Good doctors are at very low risk of being involved in medical malpractice cases. In fact, according to the New England Journal of Medicine, the average doctor in the U.S. has just a 7.4% of being sued for medical negligence and of those that are just 20% result in an actual payout.

#7: Most Cases of Medical Malpractice Could Not Have Been Avoided

While it is true that some patients are injured or die as a result of doctors following and utilizing best practices, these are not the type of cases that get accepted as medical malpractice. Medical malpractice cases involve preventable injuries or deaths. Current estimates suggest that approximately 98,000 people die every year as a result of medical errors that could have been prevented.

Contact Our Medical Malpractice Attorney in Shallotte NC for a Free Consultation

If you were seriously injured while receiving medical care or you lost a loved one as a result of a preventable medical error, then you may be entitled to certain damages. Contact The Rodzik Law Group's medical malpractice attorney in Shallotte NC as soon after the incident as possible. Call us today at 910-762-1199 to schedule a free initial consultation.