Medical negligence is currently the 3rd leading cause of death in the United States. According to a report published by Johns Hopkins University in 2018, 10% of deaths in the United States are caused by preventable medical mistakes. This statistic puts medical negligence as the third leading cause of death in the U.S. after heart disease and cancer.
The researchers at Johns Hopkins found that the majority of fatal medical errors stem from administrative and systemic problems including poor communication, unsatisfactorily coordinated care, fragmented insurance networks, and the lack or underutilization of safety protocols. The analysis by Johns Hopkins draws attention to the chronic problem of medical negligence and its fatalities.
Medical malpractice occurs when a health-care provider deviates from the recognized “standard of care” in the treatment of a patient. The “standard of care” is defined as what a reasonably prudent medical provider would or would not have done under the same or similar circumstances. In essence, it boils down to whether the provider was negligent. According to the findings of the study by Johns Hopkins University, most fatal medical errors are a result of medical negligence.
According to a Johns Hopkins University study conducted in 2013, only about 1% of all adverse medical incidents eventually result in malpractice claims or lawsuits. This number is astounding considering that a 2017 study conducted by the University of Chicago revealed 41% of people in the U.S. believed a medical error was made in their care. 73% of those interviewed reported they were actually injured by the error. This data supports the contention that millions of people are injured by medical negligence annually. Which begs the question why so few of these concerns are ever litigated. The answer, we believe, is fear and ignorance to the process.
The insurance industry uses propaganda to manipulate the public and political environment to encourage tort reform and abolish medical malpractice claims – or make them unfeasible for the average person to pursue. Greed drives this … plain and simple. It’s all about the insurance industry making money; and their propaganda is based upon manipulation.
The truth is Medical Malpractice lawsuits make up the smallest percentage of personal injury lawsuits filed in the United States; accounting for less than 5% of all personal injury cases pending nationwide. Contrary to insurance industry propaganda, published reports on insurance claims show the rate of payments on medical malpractice claims are also on the decline – falling 55% between 2009 and 2014.
Studies show that medical malpractice statistics have led to a greater emphasis on prevention and risk management in medical facilities. Risk managers reward physicians for following “best practices”, and attending recommended seminars on standard of care issues.
According to Brian Atchinson, CEO of the Physician Insurers Association of America, “Understanding patient safety is paramount and integral to care; it’s woven in with loss prevention and risk management.” He adds that the growing number of people involved in the care of a patient, “handoff is critical” and healthcare employees understand that.
Everyone recognizes that treatment errors are inevitable. However, it is undeniable that the threat of medical malpractice litigation has led world-class medical facilities and physicians to spend more time with the patients in a blunt and honest manner about what to expect during medical procedures and recovery. It follows that every viable malpractice action forces hospitals to look for new ways to minimize risk. This leads to improved care and oversight. In response to malpractice actions, physicians are working by committee to improve guidelines for “standard and acceptable care” – a term that comes up frequently in medical malpractice lawsuits.
In reality, attorneys such as those at Gilbert Law Firm are the tip of the spear in protecting Americans from malpractice, and in forcing changes in the medical field that save lives.
Gilbert Law Firm has been integral in triggering change in medical treatment protocols, and facility policy through litigation of medical negligence cases. We take great pride in this fact. That said, we do not sue doctors or hospitals without a very good reason to do so – and we take great pride in that fact as well.
Before Gilbert Law Firm files a medical malpractice lawsuit, the attorneys and staff will have put many, many hours into the case reviewing medical records, meeting with clients and witnesses, and discussing the facts with experts in the medical field at issue. We take these cases very seriously. Because we take our work seriously, doctors and medical facilities respect the lawyers at Gilbert Law Firm.
Attorneys at Gilbert Law Firm have first name / cell phone relationships with the leading attorneys who defend doctors and hospitals. One of the first things we do is communicate our concerns about a case to these attorneys so they can evaluate the claim. They understand that Gilbert Law Firm does not file frivolous lawsuits – and they take us seriously. The mutual respect, earned through years of honest, hard work leads to higher settlements, earlier in a case; and if the case needs to be tried, they know it will be tried, and tried well. This is an advantage clients of Gilbert Law Firm get that other law firms cannot provide.
Initially, it is important not to allow yourself to be intimidated by the power players in the medical system. The best way to deal with these people is to hire an experienced law firm. Contacting Gilbert Law Firm, or another competent law firm, should be the first step.
Another reason for contacting a law firm as soon as possible is because moving forward with these cases takes time. Delay in securing a lawyer can create problems with statutory filing deadlines, as well as concerns about evidence preservation, and witness memory.