The Harsh Economic Realities of Medical Malpractice Cases

August 23, 2014

Do I Have a Case? 

As Ohio medical malpractice lawyers, we hear this question from every potential client with whom we meet.  For most victims of medical or surgical negligence—victims who often have limited knowledge of the law and their legal rights following an injury—the question “Do I have a case?” is a way of asking if legally cognizable medical or surgical malpractice has occurred.  Unfortunately, because of the state of medical malpractice law in Ohio and across the country, the answer to whether a medical malpractice victim has a case (i.e., whether malpractice has occurred) is rarely the same as the answer to whether a medical malpractice attorney will take the case.

The Harsh Economic Realities of Medical Malpractice Cases

According to an article in the Vanderbilt Law Review published earlier this year, more than three quarters of medical malpractice attorneys surveyed said that they decline to represent more than 90% of potential medical malpractice clients.  “The attorneys explain that insufficient damages and high litigation expenses are their primary reasons for rejecting cases and that several tort reforms have reduced their willingness to accept cases.”  Further, due to the combination of high litigation expenses and tort reform damage award caps, “95% of medical malpractice victims will find it extremely difficult to find legal representation unless their damages are significantly larger than the typical damages for their types of injuries.”

In other words, the efforts of the health care lobby and tort reformers have led to a system which makes it economically unworkable for medical malpractice lawyers to help injured victims in countless cases, even though malpractice has occurred.  While, strictly speaking, many of these victims “have a case,” they will find it difficult or impossible to find an attorney who can represent them in their medical malpractice cases.

Should I Forget About My Claim?  NO!

While the article linked above offers a glimpse of the problems with medical malpractice cases, experienced medical malpractice lawyers are fighting for malpractice victims, negotiating settlements, and winning jury verdicts every day.  Though it is important to understand the general economic limitations outlined above, every medical malpractice case is unique and should be reviewed by a proven medical malpractice lawyer.  If you believe that you or a loved one have been injured as the result of medical or surgical malpractice, call the medical and surgical malpractice attorneys at Lowe Scott Fisher Co., LPA for a free telephone consultation.

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