STATISTICS DON’T LIE!
The medical profession brings health and hope to millions of Americans every day; however, far too many are injured or killed due to medical mistakes. In 1999, the Institute of Medicine (IOM) released a report documenting that as many as 98,000 patients die each year as a result of medical errors in hospitals. That’s more people than are killed by guns each year! Compound hospital deaths with the unreported mistakes made in other healthcare settings (physicians’ offices, urgent care centers, nursing homes, pharmacies and home care) and the magnitude of medical malpractice becomes staggering. In addition to the high-costs of medical mistakes in terms of lives and quality of life, our nation pays an estimated $74 billion per year in costs due to preventable errors.
THE FIRST STEP IS RECOGNIZING THAT MEDICAL MALPRACTICE CAN HAPPEN TO YOU!
No one wants to think that THEIR doctor could commit malpractice. This belief is often held not out of blind trust in the physician, but out of a common misperception that bad things only happen to other people. Some people have had the same family physician for decades, and could never believe their trusted friend would cause them harm. The truth is that Medical Malpractice can happen to any of us, including our parents, children and friends, at any time. It happens in big cities, small towns and rural outposts. It CAN happen to you.
THE SECOND STEP IS TO DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT.
If you feel you may have been the victim of Medical Malpractice, the WORST thing you can do is nothing. In
THE THIRD STEP IS TO HIRE AN ATTORNEY WITH EXPERIENCE HANDLING MEDICAL MALPRACTICE CASES.
Not every attorney handles medical malpractice cases, and not every attorney should. They are expensive, require hundreds of hours of preparation and there is no guarantee of success in the end. Medical Malpractice is a highly specialized area of law requiring knowledge of special rules pertaining to the area, as well as knowledge of biology, chemistry, and a thorough understanding of the medical procedure involved. Hiring an attorney who can’t or won’t do the preparation necessary to properly present your case, or who doesn’t have the resources to spend the tens of thousands of dollars necessary to bring your case to trial could prove fatal to your case.
DON’T BELIEVE THE HYPE!
Some people may hesitate to pursue a potential case out of mistaken belief that litigation is in some way related to rising medical costs. The TRUTH is that while medical costs have increased by 113% since 1987, the amount spent by the healthcare industry on medical malpractice insurance has only increased by 52% over the same period of time. According to the director of insurance for the Consumer Federation of America, insurance companies are raising rates because of poor returns on their investments, not because of litigation and justice. Numerous studies have debunked the medical profession’s false claim that malpractice cases are driving doctors away or putting them out of business. The “caps” placed on non-economic damages in some states have been totally ineffective in stemming the increased cost of malpractice insurance; malpractice insurance rates in states with such caps are actually higher than states without caps. The most effective way to reduce malpractice premiums is to take away the license of repeat offenders, which the medical profession has vigorously opposed.
We would be pleased to answer any questions you may have regarding medical malpractice.
Thanks for reading,
Adam M. Gee, Esq.