It is natural for people to have a bias against medical malpractice lawsuits.
Probably one of the first things that comes to mind when a person hears
the words "medical malpractice" is a patient trying to get rich
for a minor injury by filing a frivolous lawsuit against an innocent doctor.
Unfortunately, politicians and special interest groups have succeeded
in painting this false picture of medical malpractice lawsuits and the
civil justice system. That is why we want to take some time to address
some of the common myths about medical malpractice. Hopefully the information
in this blog and upcoming blogs will help our readers be more informed
about this topic.
The first myth that we want to address is the notion that there are a lot
of frivolous medical malpractice lawsuits being filed each year that are
clogging up our court systems. This is simply not true. Although preventable
medical errors are the third leading cause of death in America, medical
malpractice lawsuits make up on average less than 1% of all civil claims
filed in state courts and less than 3% of all tort cases filed in state
courts (tort case means a claim for money damages due to injury) according
to research performed by the National Center of State Courts. The CEO
of a major malpractice insurance company recently reported that the frequency
of medical malpractice claims is at an all time low.
On the flip side, the amount of people being severely injured or killed
due to preventable medical errors far outweights the number of medical
malpractice claims being made. According to
The Medical Malpractice Myth by Professor Tom Baker, research has found that there is as many as ten
incidents of medical malpractice for every one claim that is filed in America.
So the next time that you hear that there are a lot of medical malpractice
lawsuits being filed, remember that this statement is just a myth. The
number of medical malpractice lawsuits are disproportionately low compared
to the number of patients injured by malpractice in our country.