According to researchers at Johns Hopkins University, more than a quarter-million Americans die every year due to medical malpractice. If so, that would make it the third-leading cause of death in the United States. Only heart disease and cancer would be more deadly.
That statistic has been criticised as flawed by other researchers. One study, published under the auspices of The Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), concluded that there were 123,603 deaths due to the ‘adverse effects of medical treatment’ (a euphemism for malpractice) in the U.S. between 1990 and 2016. Far fewer, but, as that study reminds us, even one is too many.
These ‘adverse effects of medical treatment’ can be due to one of many factors. These include adverse reactions to drugs, surgery and surgical procedures, medical or surgical devices, medical errors, and improper medical management, among others. That includes incidents involving first-responders, dentists and oral surgeons.
Most medical malpractice cases involve surgical errors, pharmaceutical errors, mishandled births, and misdiagnosis. You’d think that taking a negligent physician to court would result in a slam-dunk verdict if his or her treatment resulted in the patient’s death or grievous injury. But that’s just not so. Courts resolve most such cases in favor of the defendant health professionals.
Perhaps as many as 49 percent of all family physicians in the United States have been named in malpractice suits, including those that have never made it to trial. One 20-year study of malpractice lawsuits, however, revealed that physicians win 50 percent of resultant jury trials even if the evidence of medical neglect is strong. When the evidence is merely borderline the figure rises to 70 percent. And when the evidence is clearly weak, they win 80 to 90 percent of the time.
But those are your odds only if your case reaches a jury. Most probably you won’t get that far. Between 80 and 90 percent of defensible claims are withdrawn or dismissed without any payment whatsoever. One of the reasons why is that the time it takes to proceed through the courts can thoroughly exhaust the plaintiffs. Malpractice attorneys representing the defendant, as well as the defendant’s insurance company, know all the delaying tactics. They wear down the plaintiff’s will to proceed, as well as drain his or her budget.
When you read about a medical malpractice lawsuit in the media, what makes the headlines is the amount the victims or their families are demanding in punitive damages. In fact, however, the victims have two aims. The first is indeed punitive. Medical professionals take an oath to ‘do no harm.’ If they fail, a payment to the victim is an acknowledgement of culpability and a disincentive for other medical professionals to repeat the same mistake. Needless to say, the greater the amount of the damages the more reporters will write about it in the press. That, of course, will generate public sympathy in advance of a jury trial (assuming it will go that far).
But medical malpractice victims should have another, more immediate objective in mind as well. They spent a significant amount of money in undergoing a procedure that was unsuccessful because it was the result of negligence. They deserve to get that money back and get it back as fast as possible. That also serves another vital purpose: Remuneration is a tacit admission of responsibility, which can prove invaluable in a court of law.
Assuming you paid for your treatment with a credit or debit card, you can file for a chargeback. To do so you must convince the bank that issued you your charge card to open a dispute with the merchant. In this situation, that is the medical facility where you underwent the procedure in question. But you have only one chance. If the bank rejects your request to open a dispute you won’t have a second chance to do so. That’s why you require professional assistance, which is the added value you get when MyChargeBack assists you.
Challenging medical professionals can be very complex and mistakes can cost you. MyChargeBack will analyse your case and assist you throughout the entire recovery process.
If you think you’ve been the victim of medical malpractice, consult with the fund recovery experts at MyChargeBack.