1. The Majority of Malpractice Lawsuits Are Frivolous
This is one of the most disturbing myths of all, in part because it is
so widely believed. The truth is, the vast majority of malpractice suits
are anything but frivolous – these are the cases of real people
who have been seriously injured or even killed due to the negligence of
a doctor. A study conducted by Harvard researchers determined that 97%
of the 1400+ claims looked at had merit, and 80% involved major injury
or wrongful death.
2. Dangerous Doctors Aren’t Usually Sued
It’s probably not surprising that the worst doctors pay the majority
of malpractice payments, but the actual numbers are shocking – less
than 6% of doctors make roughly 60% of all malpractice payments. All doctors
in this group were found liable at least twice, and some as many as three
or four times!
3. Malpractice Lawsuits Are Filed By Greedy Lawyers & Poor Patients
It’s unfortunate that injury victims are often portrayed in the media
as greedy, opportunistic money-hunters. Although Portland medical malpractice
attorneys certainly receive a number of these requests, good lawyers only
take on claims with merit. Additionally, those who are poor, uninsured,
or on Medicaid are much less likely to sue than wealthier, insured patients.
At The Law Offices of Patrick L. Block, P.C., we represent clients who
have suffered serious, often life changing injuries, as well as the families
of patients who have wrongfully died in the care of a negligent physician.
These are people who have truly suffered, and deserve compensation for
their pain and suffering, future medical care, loss of future income,
and so much more.
4. The Increase of Lawsuits is Overwhelming Our Courts
This is inaccurate for multiple reasons. First, it is a myth that the number
of medical malpractice lawsuits is on the rise. According to the National
Practitioner Data Bank, these claims have been dropping steadily since
2003; the total amount paid in these claims is also falling.
Secondly, medical malpractice claims represent just a tiny fraction of
the total civil caseload. According to the National Center for State Courts,
malpractice lawsuits only comprise roughly 0.18% of all civil cases nationwide.
5. There Are Way More Lawsuits Than Actual Cases of Malpractice
While there is no way to tell for certain how many patients are injured
or killed due to medical malpractice each year, the Office of Inspector
General for Health and Human Services claimed in 2010 that roughly 180,000
Medicare patients die in a given year due to poor hospital care. A 2013
study in the Journal of Patient Safety claims the number could be as high
as 440,000 for wrongful deaths alone. Compare this to the amount of medical
malpractice suits filed each year – roughly 85,000 – and you’ll
quickly see that the majority of injury and wrongful death victims actually
do not file lawsuits.
If you or a loved one has suffered at the hands of a negligent doctor or
other medical professional, we can help you seek justice. Call our Portland
medical malpractice lawyer today at (503) 491-4900.