Lowe Scott Fisher Partner Ryan Fisher Talks Medical Malpractice—Part OneSeptember 25, 2014
Since this blog began, we have made it one of our goals to educate the public—and, most importantly, injured victims—about the realities of Ohio medical malpractice lawsuits. Recently, Lowe Scott Fisher Co., LPA’s own Ryan Fisher took our message to the radio, discussing the facts about medical malpractice suits and what patients can do to protect themselves. Ryan did a fine job of separating truth from fiction, and so below we offer some of his most notable points. Check back for Part Two for Ryan’s advice to patients and victims of malpractice.
The Truth About Medical Malpractice
Medical malpractice in our health care system has become nothing short of commonplace. According to the Institute of Medicine, 98,000 patients die each year as a result of preventable medical errors, and hundreds of thousands more suffer non-fatal injuries. Worse yet, the vast majority of malpractice goes unrecognized.
Despite the very real risk of becoming a victim of medical malpractice, the public often has a skewed view of malpractice lawsuits because of media influence. For example, people generally have the perception that the courts are overrun with frivolous lawsuits. The reality, though, is that despite hundreds of thousands of instances of malpractice each year, malpractice filings are down nationally, in our Ohio, and in the Cleveland/Cuyahoga area.
According to the US Justice Department, in federal courts from 1985-2003, the number of tort trials fell by 79 percent. The number of medical negligence filings dropped eight percent between 1997 and 2006. According to the National Center for State Courts, tort cases comprise only six percent of the civil caseload, with medical negligence claims accounts for just three percent of the tort subsection. These numbers show that medical malpractice cases are a tiny fraction of all civil cases.
People also seem to think that doctors are leaving Ohio because of malpractice litigation. This is simply not true. With 34,000 in 2012, Ohio is ranked 21st among states in the number per capita of physicians in active patient care.
Finally, while it is common to hear that malpractice drives up healthcare costs, the truth is that total compensation for malpractice cases is just 3/10 of 1% of all healthcare costs. In other words, while the health care and insurance lobbies have done their best to convince you otherwise, malpractice cases are not the cause of the bloated cost of medical care.
If you or a loved one have been injured as the result of medical malpractice or surgical malpractice, contact the experienced malpractice lawyers at Lowe Scott Fisher Co., LPA for a free telephone consultation.
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