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Medical malpractice is a scary thought for everyone in healthcare, including both providers and patients. Healthcare providers fear being accused of medical malpractice because of the legal, ethical, and psychological impact it can have, while patients fear being victims of medical malpractice because of the devastating outcomes it can have on their health.
When malpractice occurs, doctors rarely admit that they made mistakes due to negligence. And on the flip side, patients sometimes refuse to file claims against their doctors because they don’t want to burden them with the stress and financial loss of a medical malpractice lawsuit. However, it rarely works out that way.
A study by the American Medical Association found that around 34% of doctors have had at least one medical liability lawsuit filed against them at some point during their careers. By age 55, the percentage increases to 50%.
Because of the high likelihood that doctors will eventually get sued for medical malpractice, most choose to purchase or are required to purchase medical malpractice insurance policies by the hospitals and clinics where they work. The cost of medical malpractice policies varies among providers, with surgeons often paying the highest premiums.
While it’s true that doctors with medical malpractice policies often pay some or all of their premiums out of pocket, they usually don’t pay much, if anything, if they’re successfully sued for medical malpractice.
Doctors who work for hospitals and healthcare clinics are typically required to have active medical malpractice insurance policies to stay employed. But doctors who own their own practices or who work for clinics that don’t require malpractice insurance may go without.
Although this can save them a lot of money on insurance premiums, it also opens them up to personal financial liability if they’re successfully sued for malpractice.
In some cases, doctors who work for hospitals aren’t actually employed by them and are instead considered independent contractors. This is common for doctors who may work at hospitals only as needed or when called in for certain cases. These doctors aren’t covered under hospitals’ insurance policies and must purchase their own.
Many people have good relationships with their doctors that may go back years, even decades. They may know each other’s families and life stories. The idea of suing your doctor for malpractice and potentially harming them and their loved ones financially can be distressing.
However, medical malpractice victims typically incur huge costs themselves. In many cases, their existing injuries and illnesses may worsen due to ineffectual treatment, and they may develop new injuries and illnesses due to the malpractice. That means more medical bills, more pain and suffering, and more time away from work.
If this happened to you, filing a medical malpractice claim is often the best way to get the money that you and your loved ones need to tackle your financial worries and start moving forward with your lives.
Making the tough decision to sue your doctor, surgeon, specialist, or other healthcare provider for medical malpractice isn’t easy. It’s also only the first step towards getting compensation. Hospitals, healthcare facilities, and malpractice insurers are all ready to dig their heels in and fight when they’re on the hook for malpractice claims, making these lawsuits an uphill battle for most victims.
At Nurenberg, Paris, Heller & McCarthy, our Cleveland medical malpractice attorneys have decades of experience, knowledge, and success under our belts when it comes to these difficult claims. We aren’t afraid to go toe-to-toe with some of the biggest healthcare facilities and insurers in the country if it means getting compensation for our clients.
Contact us today for a free consultation. We know what you’re going through, and we want to help.
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