Are Medical Malpractice Lawyers Modern Day Heroes?

Medical malpractice lawyers are a unique and driven breed of attorneys: they need to know the law, they need to educate themselves regarding the relevant medicine involved with their cases, they need to have the financial resources to respond effectively against the unlimited resources of medical malpractice insurance companies, they must be prepared to wait a long time to be paid (if ever) for the vast investment of their time and to be reimbursed for the money that they advanced on behalf of  their clients, and they must maintain a long-term, close and sometimes emotional relationship with their clients who are often permanently and catastrophically injured.

Medical malpractice attorneys often have to deal with the enormous egos of the defendant doctors and their insurance company-provided attorneys, who rarely (if ever) admit that their carelessness, inattention, unresponsiveness, or lack of attention to detail caused their patient severe physical and emotional harm, unrelenting pain and suffering, and financial ruin because they can no longer work at the jobs that they use to do. Negligent health care providers also have the luxury of writing in their own medical records self-serving and misleading (if not outright false) statements such as “patient was non compliant with treatment” (that is, blaming their patients for not following instructions that they failed to tell their patients), “patient advised of possible complications of the procedure  including  bleeding, infection, and death” (surgeons may not adequately advise their patients regarding such complications, or downplay them,  because the surgeons have a financial interest in performing as many surgeries as they can — surgeons do not get paid for the surgeries they do not perform), or “patient did not advise me of other medications he had been prescribed” (sometimes doctors fail to ask about other medications or fail to write down in their medical records the medications that their patients told them that they were taking). It is amazing how many times a doctor who is sued by his former patient for medical malpractice blames his patient for the doctor’s own negligence!

Ask just about any physician for his opinion regarding medical malpractice and the immediate and aggressive response will be that greedy medical malpractice lawyers are bringing frivolous medical malpractice claims. But ask yourself this question: how many medical malpractice attorneys file “frivolous medical malpractice claims” if they have to devote many hundreds of hours of their own time and the time of their staff and they must advance many tens of thousands of dollars of their own money to litigate medical malpractice claims against defendant doctors and other health care providers? The obvious answer is that they do not and therefore they only file medical malpractice claims that they reasonably expect to be strong cases of medical negligence with high likelihood of being successful. (There are times that medical malpractice claims are filed because they appeared to be “strong cases” at the time they were filed but information obtained during litigation make the claims less strong, which often result in the claims being voluntarily withdrawn or dismissed.)  

Doctors often whine that they cannot afford to continue to practice medicine because of high and increasing medical malpractice insurance premiums. But the doctors should not be blaming medical malpractice lawyers for the medical malpractice insurance companies unbridled thirst to earn more money for themselves by increasing insurance premiums while their payouts on medical malpractice claims decrease. Perhaps physicians should refocus their ire on their medical malpractice insurance companies greed and also focus on improving patient care and communication — many patients feel that they are not treated like a human being by their health care providers but rather as a diagnosis (“the cancer patient in room 2”) or a medical record number.

The Merriam-Webster defines “hero” as “one who shows great courage.” Isn’t that the very definition of medical malpractice lawyers, who, despite great odds, personal sacrifice, and many obstacles placed in their path to success, nonetheless undertake the effort to help people dearly in need of help to obtain justice and some measure of compensation from those who caused them great harm through no fault of their own?

We are proud of the medical malpractice lawyers that we can connect you with who can assist you with your medical malpractice claim. Visit our website to find your own hero. If you prefer, you may call us toll free at 800-295-3959.

This entry was posted on Thursday, May 12th, 2011 at 10:19 am. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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