Med Mal Looks Different from the Point of View of a Victim
Little Rock, AR (Law Firm Newswire) August 8, 2011 – Medical malpractice takes on a life of its own when a questionable doctor’s treatment history is revealed. Most patients do not know the real secrets hiding in a doctor’s track record.“There are many ways to regard medical malpractice, and typically, a victim will look at it differently than someone who has had no problems with a practitioner. The thing is, many people are not aware of their doctor’s track record, unless something bad happens. For instance, take the case of a St. Louis neurosurgeon, who had been sued for malpractice nine times. If his patients had any inkling of that, they’d probably have switched doctors,” said Michael G. Smith, an Arkansas injury lawyer and Arkansas accident lawyer, practicing personal injury law in Arkansas.
Or, consider the case of a Duluth doctor who had so many lawsuits about to be filed against him, that it turned into a class action lawsuit representing 21 female victims. The reason for the suit? The doctor was inappropriately touching women during examinations.
“There are countless other cases that we have heard and read about. The disturbing thing is that many victims don’t understand that being sued for malpractice or settling a med mal case doesn’t mean the physician is guilty or they are admitting they did wrong. In the eyes of a court of law, a settled med mal case is ruled as dismissed,” Smith said.
And what do hospitals say in response to questions about a member of their staff being sued so many times it becomes shockingly clear there is something wrong? “Many hospitals will take a defensive stance and offer the observation that the doctor’s legal problems are no worse than other doctors practicing in the same area. While that may or may not be the case, you have to surmise that is a large number of people are filing a lawsuit and competent medical malpractice lawyers are representing the clients, something’s up,” Smith said.
Med mal lawyers just do not take any old case to court. They go, knowing they have a solid reason to be there, and can likely prove negligence. If the state where the alleged act took place has med mal damages caps in place, they go knowing their client will not get what they deserve, but they go because the issue is important and the case needs to be heard.
“Tort reform is not what it is cracked up to be. It would be a good idea to check that out before assuming that all med mal cases are frivolous and only launched due to a jackpot mentality. That is not the truth,” Smith said.
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