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Medical malpractice claims often difficult to litigate

| May 21, 2012 | Hospital Errors

Whatever residents of Ohio and Kentucky may be told by insurance companies and medical providers, the majority of individuals claiming injuries do to medical mistakes do not prevail at trial. A study has shown that 79.6 percent of medical malpractice cases end up with favorable verdicts for doctors – though as we will get to below, such a statistic can be misleading.

Of all cases that are filed with the courts but never reach the jury, approximately 54.1 percent are dismissed while the rest of such cases are settled. Generally those cases that are settled will linger up for a little less than a year while it may take as long as two years for a case to actually make it all the way through trial.

Such percentages do need to be closely studied before conclusions can be reached. Medical malpractice lawsuits are extremely complex and many patients making such claims retain attorneys that are inexperienced in this area. Hospitals and medical malpractice carriers, on the other hand, have an enormous amount of funds at their disposal to defend such claims.

Also, though many such verdicts do favor physicians, the reasons why such verdicts were rendered are not always known. Every medical malpractice case is different and requires individual handling. What happens in one case may not always correlate to what will occur in another.

Though many medical malpractice claims deal with minor errors by medical staff, a large portion of such claims nevertheless are anything but frivolous. Mistakes made during a mother’s labor can result in cerebral palsy for a child. Medication errors and mix-ups in prescriptions can lead to severe injury or even death. Anesthesia administered improperly can lead to irreversible brain damage.

Certain medical mistakes have long lasting and serious consequences that simply can’t be ignored.

Source: MedPage Today, “Docs Win Most Malpractice Cases at Trial,” by John Gever, May 15, 2012

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