In MedPage Today, writer Shannon Firth discusses a trend in medical malpractice payments, as reported by consumer group, Public Citizen. The report cites data from the National Practitioner Data Bank (NPDB), which show that the amount of payments made to malpractice victims or their families had gone up slightly in 2013 compared to 2012 figures, but was far less than the amount paid in 2001. What Public Citizen found alarming about this was that the number of malpractice incidence has not gone down, and, according to them, “the actual crisis over avoidable medical errors is worse than we ever knew.”
Public Citizen believes the decline in medical malpractice payments was the result of intense clamor by medical practitioners to set caps on medical malpractice payments, which the consumer group finds disturbing.
Medical Malpractice Cases
Medical malpractice cases have always been an area of contention between practitioners and consumer groups like Public Citizen. The law, however, is clear in saying that any form of negligence or mistake committed by anyone in the medical industry, which resulted in harm, damage, or death in a patient merits penalties and compensation for the victims and/or their families.
Not all cases result in litigation. A physician or medical practitioner may admit fault before any case is filed, and agree to a settlement out of court. In such arrangements, the victim and/or the victim’s family need the guidance of experienced Manhattan medical malpractice lawyers to help them determine the amount that would be appropriate for their case, and to ensure that they receive the compensation that is justly due them.
Usual errors that fall under medical malpractice include failure or delay in patient’s diagnosis, misreading X-rays and other diagnostic test results, incorrect prescriptions, and mistakes during surgery or childbirth. In addition, the effects of medical malpractice errors aren’t limited to deaths or injuries. They may also result in emotional distress, diminished capacity to earn a living, physical pain/suffering, and impairment, either partial or complete. All these have to be taken into account when determining the compensatory amount for a case.
The services of a New York medical malpractice attorney is vital, because of his understanding on what such a case would require. For example, expert testimony is very important in the proceedings, to help shed light on such matters as “standard practice” for a medical situation. Supplementary evidences like hospital records may also be needed.
Generally, medical malpractice cases are demanding and expensive, but with the guidance of a lawyer specializing in this area, like one from The Law Offices of Joseph Lichtenstein, medical malpractice victims and their families are ensured their rights will be protected, and their petition for claims will be given due consideration.
(Source: Public Citizen Decries Fall in Malpractice Awards, MedPage Today)