Do Medical Malpractice Lawsuits Actually Help Anyone?

Posted on October 22, 2014 by Shapiro Law Group


Settlements from medical malpractice lawsuits can be worth millions, but most cases are about more than money. In many cases, victims use the suit to force changes in the healthcare system and prevent future injuries.

Millions of patients receive care at doctors’ offices and hospitals every year, but they can be very dangerous places. The National Institute of Medicine estimates that 300,000 patients are injured in hospitals every year from preventable accidents, miscommunications and infections.

Despite the alarmingly high numbers, most healthcare facilities are notoriously resistant to change.

In 2004, a now-former president of the Institute for Healthcare Improvement launched the “100,000 Lives Campaign,” asking hospitals to implement proven safety measures to save lives. The interventions were proven successful, but only a small number of hospitals chose to participate.

Why Should I File a Medical Malpractice Lawsuit?

Unfortunately, high-profile malpractice lawsuits get more attention, and more results, than preventative safety measures. One of the best examples is the anesthesiology community.

After a series of large malpractice verdicts and bad publicity in the early 1980s, the American Society of Anesthesiologists conducted a comprehensive assessment of patient injuries. The organization revamped its procedures, improved training and added redesigned machines with more safety devices.

Within 10 years, the anesthesia mortality rate dropped from 1 in 6,000 patients to 1 in 200,000. The changes benefitted the doctors as well: their malpractice insurance rates are now among the lowest of any specialty.

Some may see malpractice lawsuits as a nuisance, but the changes they inspire have saved countless lives. For better or worse, medical malpractice lawsuits serve a crucial purpose in our healthcare system: holding doctors, nurses and hospitals accountable for the care they provide.

If your injuries were caused by medical negligence, the outcome of your case could strongly impact the medical community. Consult one of the licensed attorneys at Shapiro Law Group to determine how a medical malpractice suit could help you, as well as others.

[Did You Know: Every year, up to 98,000 hospital patients die from preventable accidents, infections and other errors.]

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