Archive for January, 2013

Myths of Medical Malpractice

By admin

Wednesday, January 23rd, 2013

Unfortunately, there are those in the medical profession, more accurately in the insurance end that spread the myth of the ease with which medical malpractice claims can be brought. As with myths, if not looked at, they can appear to be accurate if sold hard enough by those who do not want financial responsibility.

The reality is, doctors do make errors. The truth is that some of those errors are a result of their failure to follow and apply standards of care they are held to know and provide to their patients. Not all, but some.

When they do, the results can be tragic and life altering.

The myth is that these malpractice claims are easily made and that the doctors are frequently victimized by unsupported claims. Not so. Like drivers of cars, some doctors go through medical “stop signs” and like those drivers, their reflex is to shift blame for what happened or to deny responsibility.

The patient or patient’s family has many hurdles between injury or death and the only thing permitted them by our laws: financial compensation, to the extent money can make up in part, for what was lost. Whether it is a brain damaged baby, a child with cerebral palsy, an unexplained fatal bleed, or some other birth or surgical injury, the burden on the injured is the same. Gathering and presenting proof, often at real emotional and financial expense.

They must have the medical records and patient history evaluated by doctors willing to objectively look at everything and advise if there is proof the doctor failed to do what was required, under the known circumstances. The problem facing the patient is that the review of the care is often significantly based on the medical “script” written in part, by the defendant or those who worked with the defendant. That “script” or chart is often completed after those involved know what happened and the seriousness of the result.

The experienced malpractice attorney knows there is a limited pool of doctors who are willing to stand up and call it objectively, knowing where to look and what to expect. That attorney has learned where to look and to whom to speak for candid answers that both the attorney and the client can use for making decisions based upon medical truth. It is a foolish attorney who seeks a doctor to say what he or she needs said, as opposed to a real analysis of whether there was in fact medical malpractice. The investment at so many levels, is far too great for that type of foolishness. The myth of malpractice claims ignores that hard reality.

Unlike the virtually unlimited lineup of witnesses available to defend the conduct, or misconduct, of the defendant doctor, the patient’s attorney must know where to find an analysis he can rely upon, by a doctor willing to back it up. That opinion will hopefully come from a doctor who also has the ability to communicate the truth of his analysis. That is not always easy when the lineup of potential witnesses is often so much smaller than those the defendant can call upon.