7 Medical Malpractice Myths Debunked (Pt. 2)
May 18, 2015
Resuming 7 Medical Malpractice Myths Debunked (Pt. 1), here, we’ll continue dispelling some more common misconceptions about medical malpractice.
More Medical Malpractice Myths You Should NOT Believe
Myth 3 – Medical malpractice cases are usually pushed by money-hungry lawyers, and they don’t really target dangerous doctors.
Fact – This malpractice myth, which goes hand-in-hand with the myth about most malpractice cases being frivolous, is also just plain wrong. Here’s why:
- Most requests for malpractice representation are rejected by lawyers – In fact, studies have shown that medical malpractice attorneys typically reject between 80 percent and 97 percent of the requests they get for malpractice representation.
In other words, it’s far more likely for an attorney to reject a request for representation than to accept it when it comes to medical malpractice cases. This seems to underscore that many attorneys are very careful about the cases they choose the move forward with and, consequently, that money is NOT the main motivator for the lawyers taking on these complicated cases
- Only a small fraction of doctors are the targets of medical malpractice cases, often more than once – In fact, studies have shown that about 60 percent of medical negligence claims are associated with about 6 percent of the doctors in the U.S. What’s more is that, about 10 percent of the time, the doctors that are named as defendants in medical malpractice cases have been sued for malpractice at least once before.
Myth 4 – In most cases, medical malpractice is not preventable.
Fact – Wrong! Many of the most common and damaging medical errors are entirely preventable. In fact, the following indicates just some of the ways that common forms of medical negligence could be prevented:
- Surgery errors could be prevented by instituting better pre-surgery preparation procedures (to prevent wrong-site surgeries), improving methods for accounting for surgical tools (so they don’t get left in patients), etc.
- Medication errors could be prevented by improving communication between medical professionals (so that the right types and doses of medications are administered to patients), etc.
- Diagnostic errors could be prevented by taking more time with patients (to fully understand their symptoms), conducting more or better testing (to avoid misdiagnosis), etc.
Additionally, research has suggested that close to 98,000 lives could be saved every year if better care was taken to prevent medical malpractice.
Be sure to check out the upcoming conclusion to this blog series for some more facts about medical malpractice. It’ll be published soon.
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