Doctors and lawyers are like the Republicans and the Democrats — doctors can’t stand being in the same room with lawyers but tend to remain somewhat civil when they’re forced to be together. However, once they are amongst themselves, they tend to spew insults (or worse) towards lawyers. Doctors joke about lawyers and sometimes lawyers return the favor.
Why do doctors hate lawyers so much? Because lawyers are the ones who bring claims against them for medical malpractice. Despite the merits of the medical malpractice claims being made, doctors fault the lawyers for filing the medical malpractice claims instead of addressing the underlying claims and whether they are responsible for their patients’ serious injuries that were caused by their negligent medical care. At the point in time when a medical malpractice claim is served on the doctor, the doctor goes into survival mode because of the personal nature of the claim (claims that THEY were personally negligent and that they provided a level of care that is deemed substandard by their colleagues) that can affect their reputation in their communities among their patients and their peers, and equally important, affect their pocketbook.
How often do doctors who screwed up the medical care that they provided (which permanently injured their patients who unequivocally placed their absolute trust in their doctors’ care) admit their faulty treatment? Even when a doctor operates on the wrong body part a lawsuit often needs to be filed against the offending doctor because the doctor does not accept full responsibility for the wrong-site surgery — the doctor will blame others for the mistake (such as the operating room nurse who failed to mark the appropriate surgical site) even though the ultimate and final responsibility for ensuring that the appropriate surgical site is identified before making the first surgical cut lies solely with the doctor.
The favorite rallying call for doctors when discussing medical malpractice claims is that medical malpractice claims are “frivolous.” The dictionary defines “frivolous” as “trivial” and “silly.” What is trivial or silly about a woman giving birth who dies as a result of her delivering doctor failing to timely identify a serious medical complication with the mother that results in her death (and the newborn’s loss of never knowing and having a mother’s loving care)? What’s so silly or trivial about a parent who loses a son or daughter because the emergency room doctor failed to recognize that the child needed a certain critical but simple medical treatment in order to save the child’s life?
How often do medical malpractice lawyers bring frivolous lawsuits against doctors? The vast majority of medical malpractice lawyers do not bring frivolous lawsuits against doctors — medical malpractice claims cost tens and often hundreds of thousands of dollars to litigate to a verdict. Most medical malpractice lawyers are only paid a fee based on a percentage of the amount recovered (known as a contingency fee), and only when there is a recovery. How many medical malpractice lawyers could afford to bring a “frivolous” medical malpractice lawsuit against a doctor if they knew that the litigation would cost them tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars in expenses that they will have to advance for their clients’ claims, knowing that there was little possibility of being reimbursed for their out-of-pocket costs, let alone earn a fee for their time and effort?
How often do doctors who were negligent in their care of their patients admit to their mistakes? The answer may be found in a question: how often do you hear of a doctor admitting to mistakes in the medical care they provided, or failed to provide, to their patients? One reason why you may not hear about negligent doctors is because they require their victims of medical malpractice to agree to complete confidentiality regarding their medical malpractice claims, the basis of their claims, the amount paid to them, and the names of the negligent doctors when settling medical malpractice claims against the doctors. Without access to this information, the general public is left without important and relevant information regarding their doctors. Whether laws should be passed to outlaw confidential settlements in medical malpractice cases in order to protect the public will be the subject of a future blog…
Doctors who provide the appropriate level of medical care to their patients have no rational reason to fear that a medical malpractice claim will be brought against them and no reason to hate medical malpractice lawyers.
If your doctor failed to provide you with the appropriate medical care and the failure to do so resulted in serious or permanent injuries, damages, or death, please visit our website to be connected with medical malpractice lawyers in your local area who may be able to assist you with your medical malpractice claim. You may also contact us toll free at 800-295-3959.
Turn to us when you don’t know where to turn.