A recent article in the WashingtonPost.com site confirms that victims of medical malpractice often suffer without fair and just compensation. The article further establishes that empirical evidence runs contrary to those who contend that we have a medical malpractice crisis in our nation, and would not support the contentions of those such as President Bush who maintain that medical malpractice reform is necessary.
A study performed by a law professor at the University of Missouri at Columbia examined three decades of research and concludes that jurors tend to sympathize with doctors being sued rather than patients who have been victimized by malpractice and are suing the physician for their damages. The Bush Administration contends there there is an epidemic of frivolous malpractice cases and run away jury verdicts and claim that doctors are being forced out of practice. As a result medical malpractice reform became a major political topic in the 2004 presidential campaign, as well as many other political campaigns across the nation. The contention has long been that doctors were being forced out of their profession, that run away juries were awarding compensation when none was deserved, and that medical malpractice claims were driving up the cost of medical care.
Recently Phillip G. Peters, Jr., writing in the May edition of the Michigan Law Review, finds that if anything, the jury system appears to be biased against the patient and in favor of the doctor. Peters finds that, overall, injured patients win only about 27% of all cases that go to trial. This means that medical malpractice cases have the lowest win rate of any category of tort litigation. A study finds that there are several reasons for the bias which tends to favor the doctors when they are being sued. Among the areas that give the Defendant doctors an advantage, include their superior economic resources, the social standing of the doctors, the jurors willingness to give a doctor the benefit of the doubt if the evidence is confusing or complicated, and what is now known as the cultural prohibition against the idea of benefiting or profiting from an injury.
Indeed, a juries’ lack of medical expertise tends to favor the doctor and not the patient. A study found that juries rule in favor of doctors more frequently than do independent medical reviews, which provided a very surprising result. Typically doctors are very reluctant to allege that another physician’s care is negligent, or below the accepted standard of care.
Christian and Davis believes that the greatest cost of medical malpractice is the harm that is done to patients who suffer injury from negligent care at the hands of doctors and hospitals and other medical providers. The Christian and Davis Law Firm in Greenville, South Carolina carefully analyzes potential medical malpractice and nursing home negligence cases to determine if there is a meritorious claim. Christian and Davis has a full time registered nurse on staff acting as a legal nurse consultant who meets with and discusses claims with clients, and to assist the attorneys in reviewing cases. Christian and Davis believes that we all need to be advocates for competent medical care and to take legal action only when appropriate to hold the medical professional accountable where serious personal injury has been caused due to substandard or negligent care. We suggest that you inform your United States representatives to oppose legislation that caps or limits recoveries to seriously injured victims and reduces accountability of negligent wrong doing.