Liability and Medical Malpractice

Medical malpractice is a difficult area to talk about. What people think it is and what it actually is are different things. It is not simply any negative outcome resulting from an interaction with a doctor, medical malpractice is not that simple. “Practicing” is an interesting word when it comes to medicine as the jobs doctors do are not always done perfectly.

Wondering why the number medical malpractice suits is on the rise?

One possible reason is that doctors have been portrayed as being near perfect heroes on TV shows. A medical drama where the doctor always loses would not be watched. We’ve been conditioned to believe that doctors have all the answers and act with extreme precision and intuition. Real doctors aren’t super-human.

Another reason is that we look to doctors to solve both physical and mental problems for us and have given them our respect. We take it extremely personally when a doctor lets us down. A part of us wants to hurt the doctor because we are hurt. Especially if a loved one died as a result of their negligence (or what we think is their negligence).

One more likely reason is that we have come to realize through the years that medical malpractice suits can be extremely profitable. In our society we’re sometimes taught that we can turn our pain into money. Medical malpractice suits have become a huge payday for some people.

These issues play an important role and are significant to the pursuit of these cases. This is not an easy thing to do as any medical malpractice attorney will tell you. Getting witnesses, expert opinions, investigating injuries and researching medical records are all involved in preparing a case.

All the effort rarely pays off in the end. The reason? Doctors are not expected to be infallible by the law or their profession since they are not infallible beings.

Doctors are required to act in reasonable ways by the laws of most states. They cannot be held legally accountable when reasonable actions cause injury. They cannot be held responsible if a mis-diagnosis ended in injury, disability or death, as long as the diagnosis was reasonable at the time they made it.

Medical malpractice attorneys are aware these cases are emotionally painful for all involved. If it is not completely clear the doctor did something wrong you may be advised the mental anguish isn’t worth pursuing the case. Doctors will rarely admit it even if they actually made an error. You will have to get a judge to convince them to admit an error or wrongdoing due to the cost and the blemish on their record. In many cases, an expert medical witness will need to testify and prove wrongdoing on the part of the doctor.

The fact there are large payouts in these types of cases is true. There are often extremely large damages awarded. However, all malpractice suits are not worth a lot of money. No one hears about the lesser cases that are not worth pursuing.

The last thing to remember is that you should never attempt a medical malpractice suit on your own. You will need to have the help of a medical malpractice lawyer no matter what happens. Many malpractice attorneys will not accept a case unless it’s a slam-dunk.

Some medical malpractice attorneys will gladly charge you for a case they know has no hope. Be sure to always get a second opinion when searching for an attorney to represent you in a medical malpractice case.