Sometimes it seems impossible to turn on the TV or read the newspaper without coming across a story about another huge payment being awarded to the victim of medical malpractice. These stories often make it seem simple to win a case: all you need is to be hurt by a doctor and then you’ll be given millions of dollars, right? However, medical malpractice is incredibly complex and cases must go through the wringer before they’re ever discussed by a jury so it’s not all as simple as it seems. Learn 3 facts you need to know about medical malpractice in today’s blog.
Fact: Medical malpractice a leading cause of death
In the United States, medical malpractice is the 3rd most common cause of death behind only cancer and heart disease.
Fact: Not all injuries qualify as medical malpractice
Just because you sustained an unintended injury during a medical procedure does not mean that you automatically have grounds for a malpractice lawsuit. For an experience to qualify as medical malpractice, your care provider must have been medically negligent. This means that they deviated from the "standard of care" that all patients should expect to receive. This "standard of care" refers to what a reasonably careful provider would have done in your same situation. If it is determined that your provider acted as any other reasonably careful provider would have then you will not have a basis for a medical malpractice lawsuit.
Fact: Medical malpractice lawsuits are not a way to get rich quick
While many medical malpractice lawsuits result in damage awards of millions of dollars, it’s important to recognize just how difficult it is to win damages in this type of case. Around a quarter million Americans are killed every years as a result of medical errors, yet only 15% of all personal injury lawsuits filed annually involve medical malpractice and of those, over 80% will end with no payout to the plaintiff or their families. While it is possible to win fair settlements with the help of an experienced medical malpractice lawyer, it is important to approach the situation honestly and with realistic expectations.