The American Association of Justice (AAJ) recently published a series of reports around the issue of medical negligence. There has been a wave a recent pushes to “reform” the system of medical negligence. However, much of the information used to advance these reforms are deceiving, ignoring the fact that they do nothing to lower health care costs or improve the actual care provided to patients. To clear the air, the AAJ explains five of the most common myths propagated by these misleading “reformers.”
First, there is a misconception that there are an excessive number of “frivolous” lawsuits. Yet the truth remains that the problem originates in the inadequacy of medical care provided, not in the filing of lawsuits following that negligence. The reality is simple: if medical professionals made fewer errors than there would be fewer victims and fewer lawsuits.
Second, health care costs are not driven high because of malpractice claims. A recent reported indicated that only .3% of total health care costs are related to defense of malpractice claims.
Third, doctors are not fleeing the profession because of medical malpractice lawsuits. It is undeniable that the number of physicians in the United States had been steadily increasing for decades. The increase has occurred in every state in the country. States with medical malpractice caps have no difference than those states that do not.
Fourth, doctor insurance premiums are not affected by malpractice claims. Time and again empirical research has shown that insurance premiums paid by doctors have little to no correlation with malpractice claims. Conversely, studies have shown that many insurance companies artificially inflate rates and mislead the public about the situation.
Finally, all “tort reform” plans will have little effect on insurance rates. Caps on medical awards only mean that insurance companies pay less in awards; doctor premiums do not decrease.
Our Chicago malpractice attorneys at Levin & Perconti believe that basic fairness should not be out of reach for any victim of medical malpractice. We work every day to help those who have suffered at the hands of negligent care. It is important to spread the truth about errors made by medical professionals and the right of all victims to have access to the justice system.
There is much more to this report. Please Click Here to study these medical negligence myths in more detail. Check back to this blog in the coming days for more reports from the American Association for Justice.
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