Did your doctor fail to diagnose a condition that should have been obvious? Maybe a mistake was made during your surgery, you were prescribed a wrong dose of medication, or an intervention caused your baby more trauma than good. All of these situations could result in a medical malpractice lawsuit -- and in many circumstances, a successful one. However, many patients who are wronged by the medical establishment do not file lawsuits when they could because they've heard some myths that just are not true.
Here are some of those medical malpractice myths--and to set the record straight, the real truth.
Myth: Doctors make mistakes, so you have no right to sue.
It is true that doctors make mistakes. They are only human! But there is a difference between a little mistake and one that causes you pain and suffering. You should not have to pay for your doctor's mistakes, and is is your right to sue a doctor who makes a mistake so that you do not have to pay. If you're worried about ruining your doctor's livelihood over a mistake he or she obviously made accidentally, don't be. Doctors carry medical malpractice insurance for this reason. The doctor won't be paying your settlement directly; the insurance company will. And the insurance company exists to serve this purpose.
Myth: There's no sense in suing since doctors won't testify against each other in court.
It is true that doctors don't typically testify against one another in court, but usually, this restriction is limited to doctors in the same region or state. If your case does require another doctor to testify against the doctor who made an error in your treatment, your lawyer can find someone from out of state to serve as a witness. There are even so-called expert witnesses, who are medical doctors that largely make their living by testifying for such cases.
There's also a really good chance your case won't make it to court, and therefore you won't have to worry about someone testifying against your doctor. More than 90% of medical malpractice lawsuits are settled outside of court, meaning that your lawyer and the doctor's insurance company will agree as to a fair amount of money for you to be rewarded without the judge having to interfere.
Myth: You won't be able to find a doctor if you file a medical malpractice lawsuit.
Some patients avoid filing a malpractice suit because they think doing so will land them on some sort of blacklist, and then they will have trouble getting any doctor to treat them. But there is no blacklist or official record of patients who have made claims against their doctors. If your case is highly publicized and is printed in the papers, then a doctor could theoretically find out your history by searching for your name online. But it's unlikely that they would do this. Furthermore, emergency rooms and similar facilities cannot refuse patients care when immediate care is needed.
Do not avoid a lawsuit because you fear for your continued health care. You won't want to continue seeking treatment from the doctor who has wronged you, but you should have no trouble finding a new doctor in your area.
Filing a medical malpractice lawsuit is not easy, and you will need a lot of evidence to back up your case. So, if you are considering filing such a lawsuit, speak with a lawyer sooner rather than later. He or she can help ease any other concerns you may have about the process and can also give you a better idea of what to expect as you proceed. Check out sites like https://www.shayandassociates.com/ to get started.