Famous Medical Malpractice Cases

It’s easy to look at famous people and think they have it all.

Looks, fame, money, and status. Who doesn’t want that? But look past the shiny exterior and of course, they’re human like everyone else. Human beings face illness, family difficulties, and sometimes even tragedy. Celebrities are no exception.

Medical malpractice is right behind heart disease and cancer as the third leading cause of death. Celebrities are no more immune to medical malpractice than they are to the sickness that brought them to the hospital to begin with. Sure, they have access to the most acclaimed doctors and facilities, but money can’t buy everything. There’s still medication mix ups, botched surgeries, and human error, even for society’s elite.

Keep reading to hear about celebrity medical care gone wrong, and what they did to seek justice.

If you think you have a medical malpractice case, find out here.

Julie Andrews

Image of Julie Andrews in the movie Mary Poppins

You may know her as Mary Poppins, or Maria von Trapp, two iconic roles that made her famous. For decades, Julie Andrews has graced cinema with her talent. She brought songs like “The Hills Are Alive” and “A Spoon Full Of Sugar” into the world with the soprano voice most people know her by.

But in 1997, everything changed. Andrews’ went in for a throat procedure to remove non-cancerous nodules on her vocal chords. A typically low risk  procedure stole away one of Andrews’ most precious assets — her ability to sing.

The lawsuit which was filed in Manhattan, against Mt. Sinai Hospital, alleged that the surgery, which is quite routine for singers, was botched.

It’s hard to put a price tag on the thing that’s brought you fame and fortune but this is what Andrews’ had to say about it, “Singing has been a cherished gift, and my inability to sing has been a devastating blow.”

Her voice has never truly recovered, stealing potential roles, and earnings but fortunately Andrews’ has moved on with her life, and was able to receive the compensation she deserved though a lawsuit.

Quaid Babies

Photo of Dennis and Kimberly Quaid

Double the trouble but double the sweetness… They say you can never fully prepare yourself for twins, but in the end, it’s worth it. Well that end nearly came decades too early for the Quaid family.

For Dennis Quaid (you may remember him from the famous “Parent Trap,” “The Rookie,” or “The Good Stuff”) the birth of his twins turned into a complicated medical emergency, practically overnight. In 2007, Quaid and his wife Kimberly welcomed twins Thomas and Zoe via surrogate. Days later they diagnosed the twins: staph infections. While receiving treatment at Cedars Sinai Medical Center, the hospital gave the twins a nearly lethal dose of Heparin (a blood thinner). Instead of giving the 10 units of Heparin the doctor ordered, they gave each child 10,000 units. This happened not once, but twice.

The babies were black and blue, and bleeding out.

Not only did the hospital staff fail to notice they administered the wrong dose, the manufacturer of the medication refused to correct the process, even after they repeated the same mistake with their products.

Turns out the label for 10 units is nearly identical to the label for 10,000 units, and without taking another glance nurses grabbed the wrong one.

According to U.S. Pharmacopeia: “Between 2001 and 2006 more than 16,000 heparin errors were blamed on incorrect dosing.”

The Quaid twins became victims, failed by the manufacturer, the pharmacy technician, and the nursing staff. Thankfully both children survived and now appear to be just as healthy as anyone else their age.

Quaid believes the near tragedy is going “to raise public awareness and to get something done about computerized record keeping and bar coding in hospitals. That’s going to save lives—a lot of lives.”

The Quaids filed a lawsuit against the hospital and won $750,000 in compensation.

Joan Rivers

Black and white photo of Joan Rivers, when she was young.

Famous for her vivacious personality and somewhat controversial comedy, Joan Rivers made people laugh for over fifty years.

She worked heavily in the entertainment industry and even co-starred on the show “Fashion Police” until she passed on, 81 years in.

What was meant to be a simple outpatient procedure ended with Joan losing her life to medical malpractice. Hospitals perform tens of millions of endoscopies each year. Why did this one go so wrong?

According to Rivers’ daughter Melissa, the doctors at Yorkville Endoscopy were grossly negligent. They performed a laryngoscopy in addition to the endoscopy, but nobody had consented to this additional procedure. The physicians at Yorkville took the liberty of performing a procedure that neither Joan Rivers nor her family had agreed to.

Not only that, the anesthesiologist on duty warned against the procedure because she was concerned about her patient’s oxygen levels. And that’s exactly what happened. A loss of oxygen led to brain damage and ultimately her death.

Adding insult to injury, one of the doctors took a selfie of Joan while she was on the table having the procedure. Unprofessional? We think so.

In the end, Joan’s family received an undisclosed compensation for her untimely death.

Dana Carvey

Photo of Dana Carvey smiling.

Can you imagine the emotional stress a person must go through before having open heart surgery? Just wrapping your head around what’s about to happen and what your odds of recovery are. As if that’s not stressful enough, how would you feel if you found out that your doctor performed surgery on the wrong artery, and you may need to do it again?

WHAT? For the famous comedian Dana Carvey, this actually happened.

When the surgery was over, he thought the worst was behind him and he could move on with his life and career. Soon after he began experiencing the same symptoms he had prior to surgery. And then, they discovered the mistake.

This is what Carvey had to say about it,”I remember just lying in my bed just sobbing, I can’t believe they connected it to the wrong artery. I was absolutely just terrified that I was going to have another open heart surgery,” he said.

Fortunately he didn’t have to experience open heart surgery again, but did require an angioplasty to clear the blocked artery.

Dana Carvey ended up settling his $7.5 million dollar lawsuit. What’s even more amazing is that Carvey donated all of his earnings to charity! So happy ending for this one, sort of.

Now, as riveting as the stories above are, there’s many other famous malpractice cases, some of which are just as interesting.

Here’s a few of those cases:

Picture of Hulk Hogan in suit testifying in court.

Hulk Hogan: Sued for malpractice involving unnecessary spine surgery.

Photo of John Ritter

John Ritter: Family sued hospital for wrongful death.

Black and white photo of Andy Warhol.

Andy Warhol: Doctors overloaded him with fluids.

Photo of Michael Jackson in his youth.

Michael Jackson: Doctor helped him overdose on a cocktail of drugs including propofol.

Final Thoughts

Mistakes happen. Whether you’re famous or not, everyone endures difficult situations in one way or another. If there’s one difference from celebrities and everyone else, it’s this. Oftentimes, people without fame, power or wealth don’t realize they can fight for justice too.

Like the Quaid twins or Dana Carvey, we can use our stories to help others. Whether you’re fighting for change or seeking compensation for malpractice, each one of us deserves the same opportunity.

If you or your family has been a victim of malpractice please reach out to us or a law firm in your area.

Can You Sue the Military for Medical Malpractice?

We all know medical malpractice is a major problem. Thankfully there are laws that help protect patients from incompetent healthcare providers. But have you ever wondered if you can sue the military for medical malpractice?

You would think so. Sadly, you can’t if you belong to the group of 1.3 million active duty military members.

Members of our armed forces can’t file a lawsuit against government healthcare providers. Even if the nurse or provider treating them was completely incompetent and caused harm.

This means that the people who risk their lives to protect our country don’t have the same privileges or protection that we do.

Seems unfair. But could that change? More on that soon.

Can You Sue The Military? (Medical Malpractice Laws)

Suing the government is very long and tedious. That said, if something happens to you, you’d probably want the option to sue for compensation. Now, for most of us, the government allows this under the Federal Tort Claims Act.

If you’re active duty military however, brace yourself for an unpleasant surprise. Active members of the military do NOT have the right. But why?

The Feres Doctrine

The reason active members of the military can’t sue the military for medical malpractice has to do with a little something called The Feres Doctrine. It’s a law that originates from the famous Feres v. United States case (dating back to the 1950’s). It’s a controversial case where active service members became unable to file medical malpractice lawsuits against the federal government.

Based on the rule, active duty members can’t sue the military for injuries and damages that occurred during their duties. Even when it’s blatantly clear that someone is at fault. The bill also denies military dependents the ability to sue the federal government for any claims that involve active service members.

So, say your spouse experiences malpractice by a military medical professional. Maybe a nurse administered the wrong medication or a doctor misdiagnosed an illness. No matter the severity or the cause, you can’t sue.

A picture full of military dogtags hanging.

Who Can Sue The Military Doctors?

Okay, so unless the law changes, active service members can’t sue the military. But who can?

There are exceptions but the following groups often have the right to seek legal action:

Military dependents or spouses and children of an active service member (even a newborn child born to an active duty mother, who experiences a birth injury).

Retired military personnel who received injuries caused by substandard medical treatment at VA (Veteran Administration), DOD, and other federal healthcare facilities.

Veterans who received inadequate medical treatment at a VA facility or other federal hospitals.

And here’s an interesting tidbit. Service members can actually seek compensation for emotional distress should their family member be injured under military care.

The New Bill to Change the Current Ruling About Suing The Military For Malpractice

Most of us would agree that our service members should be treated with respect. People who dedicate their lives to serve our country deserve the same medical legal rights as everyone else.

Recently, partisan party created a new measure to change the outdated ruling.

A heart-jerking testimony from victims of military medical malpractice initiated the bill. A group of lawmakers then announced new legislation that would amend the current law.

Progress.

This new rule would give all military personnel safe medical treatment:

“We’re not talking about special treatment. We’re talking about giving service members the same rights as their spouses, federal workers, and even prisoners. When compensation schemes are insufficient, service members should have their claims heard in the justice system.” -Rep. Jackie Speier.

This bill, if it goes through, will finally allow active duty military members to sue the military for medical malpractice. (Keep an eye on the bill’s progress here.)

Final Thoughts

Military medical malpractice, as we all know, is inevitable. U.S. legislation protects most of us and allows us to sue the military for malpractice. So that’s good. But again, active duty service members cannot.

The silver lining at the end of this tunnel is the new bill that will hopefully change that. Amending the Feres doctrine will hold military doctors accountable to provide safe and competent medical treatment for all military members and dependents, including the 1.3 million active duty members in the US.

Do I Have a Medical Malpractice Case? (Find Out Below)

Do you think you have a medical malpractice case against your doctor?

Fact is, you might. And you might not. Common sense doesn’t always dictate in the court of law, and what may seem like a clear cut lawsuit may not be. But one way or the other, this is a great place to start. Because you’ll be able to either confirm that you have a case, or that you don’t.

Let’s start with the home runs. That is, if you answer yes to one of the questions below, it’s looking good. Really good.

YES = You Likely Have A Medical Malpractice Lawsuit

A tray full of vintage surgical equipment.

Did they leave a surgical sponge or other foreign object inside of you after performing surgery?

This happens waaaay more than it should. 4,000-6,000 times more than it should. Yep. You read that right — in the US, 4,000 cases are reported each year, of surgical items being left inside a patient. And experts believe the actual number is closer to 6,000! That means that roughly 12 US surgeons per day who sew up their patients only to remember they’d left a foreign object inside of them. Oops. BIG oops.*

FYI, here’s a few of the most common objects left inside a patient:

► Scalpels: Blades for making surgical incisions.

► Retractors: Tool that holds incisions open.

► Sponges: Material not unlike gauze, to soak up blood and keep it from pooling.

► Clips/clamps: Tools used to pinch off blood vessels.

Needles: Used to sew stitches and sutures.

Next up, the unwanted operation.

Did they perform an operation on you that you did not need?

Home run number two. If they operate on your arm to remove a tumor, but it turns out your x-rays had been switched with another patient’s and you don’t have a tumor after all, guess what? That’s medical malpractice. Time to talk to a malpractice attorney and plan your lawsuit.

Did they perform an operation on you that was meant to be for a different patient?

Patient A needs their tonsils removed. You (patient B) need lower back surgery. They remove your tonsils. Not cool, but congrats — that’s malpractice. You sir or ma’am, have a medical malpractice case. Same goes for the wrong part of the body, which brings us to question 4:

Did they operate on the wrong part of your body?

Let’s say you go in for an appendectomy. They put you under for the procedure. You wake up expecting to feel a little sore in, you know, your appendix region. But instead, you wake up to a missing leg. Yikes. That’s a home run and then some — time to call the best malpractice lawyer you can find, because you just might have a case.

Did they perform surgery without your consent? (Non-emergency only.)

You wake up confused and sore. Questions are asked. “Wait, why on earth didn’t you ask me first?!” you project, eyes justifiably bulging. They fumble around with some silly answers including how they’re legally clear to perform emergency operations without consent. But a vasectomy? That hardly seems like a justifiable emergency to you. And you’d be right to second guess. Grab the nearest attorney and sue away. (Actually just kidding — find the best attorney and medical staff.)

Did they fail to inform you about a significant risk? (A risk that has more than a 5% chance of occurring.)

Here’s the situation. Your doctor solemnly tells you that you have a narrowed carotid artery that needs to be opened so you don’t have a stroke. “Great!” you smile, and the next thing you know, your surgeon inserts a stent into your femoral artery, threads it through until he reaches your carotid, then inflates a balloon through the stent, successfully expanding your carotid artery. Yay! Wait no, not yay — they didn’t tell you the mortality rate, did they? Nope. 32% – that’s the mortality rate at two years after this sort of operation. That’s a big no-no and it’s on you to lower the hammer of justice.

Now, if you answered yes to any one of these questions, you almost definitely have a medical malpractice case. Congrats! What’s next? Give us a call, and we’ll walk you through the process to get you paid! It can be annoyingly complex, but that’s why we’re here — so it doesn’t have to be for you.

If you didn’t have any yeswins to the questions above, fear not. Many if not most cases aren’t 100% obvious wins from the get go. Our team of medical malpractice attorneys and medical staff is here to help you straighten everything out to determine whether or not you have a case.

So how do you know if you have a medical malpractice case if you didn’t have a yes for any the questions above?

Read on, to our “not-quite-home-runs-but-still-possibly-a-case-q-and-a.”

YES = You Might Have A Medical Malpractice Lawsuit

A father carries both of his children through a field of flowers.

Were you injured during a medical procedure or because of a treatment?

Now, this may seem like an obvious win. You’re suffering in some way because your doctor messed up! But not all mess ups are considered malpractice.

That said, if you believe you’re suffering because your doctor messed something up, and you’re a smart, reasonable person, there’s a pretty good chance you’re right.

And this is the best part. All it takes is a quick call to find out.

Do you believe your doctor’s or nurse’s treatment was below medical standards?

The big question here is why? If you have a good reason, the best thing you can do is immediately contact the best attorney you know. The average medical malpractice settlement is over $425,000 and the average jury award is over $1 million. 9 out of 10 cases settle.* You don’t want to give up a chance to win $.5 million to $1 million, do you?

Does your doctor have a sketchy past littered with malpractice?

This is far from a home run, but still a pretty solid indicator that you’re on the right path. But how do you find out? Dig up their medical history online! You can use this online physician search tool from the Federation of State Medical Boards to look your  doctor up.

Even if you don’t suspect a doctor of malpractice, and just want to know who is treating you or your family (or maybe you have a new doctor) it’s always nice to know that you’re in good hands. And if you’re not, you can find a better doctor!

Last but not least — there’s one automatic disqualifier you should know about. Sadly, your window of opportunity isn’t open forever. With that in mind, the next section will help you determine whether yours is or isn’t.

Are you within your state’s statute of limitations?

This is a biggy. If the answer to this question is no, I’m sorry to say, you don’t have a medical malpractice case.

How do you find out?

Well, let’s start with this. As of the date this article was written (and aside from suing government agencies), every state gives you at least a year. For example, here in Houston and the rest of Texas, you have up to 2 years after the day of the personal injury incident.

If you don’t live in Texas, use this personal injury statute of limitations chart to find out how long your state gives you.

Keep in mind, there are some very rare exceptions to these rules, possibly in your favor but also otherwise. A quick chat with your medical malpractice lawyer should set things straight.

Final Thoughts On Your Medical Malpractice Lawsuit

So that’s that. Hopefully you just found out some good news! If you’re in Houston Texas (anywhere really), and you think you have a lawsuit, we can help you confirm today.

Give us a quick call at 713-489-0993! Why? Because you matter. And also, math. Remember, how 90% of all medical malpractice lawsuits end in a settlement?*

That means, if you call us and we team up to pursue the lawsuit together, there’s a very high chance that you’ll be compensated through settlement. The average settlement, again, is $425,000. Not bad.

So find out! You may have a case, and you may not. But risking 5 minutes to possibly come out around $.5 million ahead? Way better than playing the lottery.

How To Sue The Hospital: You CAN Sue Your Hospital (& WIN!)

“I want to sue the hospital. But how? And can I win?”

It’s a reasonable ask in many cases. And yes, the answer is yes:

You can sue your hospital.

And win.

Naturally, you need a good reason. If you have one, you’ve probably already graduated from “I want to sue the hospital” to “how can I sue the hospital?”

If that’s the case, you’re in the right place.

Because we’re going to cover precisely that.

Let’s start with the three reasons you can sue the hospital:

1. Medical negligence

2. Medical malpractice (A very specific type of negligence.)

3. Wrongful death (If a loved one died because of negligence.)

If your reason falls into one of these categories and you want to sue your hospital, use the steps below as a guide to get the ball rolling.

1 – Check Your Statute Of Limitations

Every state has their own statute of limitations (a specific period of time where you’re able to file a lawsuit). So if you want to sue the hospital, it’s important to check your state’s specific limitations.

Because if you’re suing a hospital, you may have less time than if you were suing an individual. In some states, you only get a year from the day you were injured.

Anyway, here’s how to check. If you’re in Texas, you can give us a call and we’ll give you all the most up-to-date details, and answer the rest of your questions too.

Otherwise, just Google statute of limitations in <insert your state here>.

For you social butterflies who’d rather hop on a call to chat about it, you can call the clerk’s office or your public law library. Once you find out that you’re still able to file a lawsuit, it’s time to don your detective hat.

A woman inside a tall building holds an American flag outside window.

2 – Find Out Who To Sue. And Why. And…

“I want to sue the hospital” may be a great place to start. But “I want to sue my doctor” might be even better. Which is your best bet? You want answers, and you need them. Especially in this step toward compensation.

Was the injury the result of negligence? Maybe someone wasn’t doing their job, wasn’t truthful about a complication, or maybe the hospital’s equipment was faulty?

Let’s start with the basics: Who, What, When, Where, and Why.

In this step, start a notebook of “sue the hospital” notes and write down the answers as you learn them. You can refer to these notes when you consult with your attorney, to make sure you don’t miss any details.

Who: Pinpoint who was (and is) responsible. Was it a member of the medical staff? A technician? Keep in mind that (depending on the issue at hand) it could be any of a number of people employed at the hospital. Knowing who did it will help you determine who to sue, whether it’s a doctor, a nurse, someone else or the hospital as a whole.

What: What exactly happened? Did your doctor overlook something on your medical record? Did your surgeon operate on the wrong body part? Write down every detail you can, it’ll help you later.

To support the what, you’ll want to gather all of your information; photos, medical records, incident reports, etc. This will come in handy later. Here’s a medical malpractice documents checklist to help you remember everything.

When: Was it in the morning? Afternoon? Evening? Was there a staffing change? Did it occur right after the doctor came in, or later?

Where: If relevant, where did the accident occur? What floor, room, or part of the hospital?

Why: Did this happen because of negligence? That’s the big why. 

To do the heavier research on the most difficult questions above, talk with your lawyer (the next step). Your malpractice attorney and the rest of the staff will help you dig much deeper than you’re able to on your own.

And for that, you’ll want to recruit your A-team.

A man sits at a coffee shop working with a coffee mug in front of him.

3 – Consult Your Attorney

Keep this in mind — when you sue a hospital, whether it’s for malpractice, negligence or wrongful death, you’re taking on a professional team of hospital law attorneys. This is a far cry from their first rodeo. It probably goes without saying, but I’ll say it anyway — if you want to win and get the most money out of that hospital and into your pocket, you need to find a good lawyer with the right experience. Experience filing and winning lawsuits like yours.

One good piece of news is, most malpractice lawyers work on contingency, so not having enough money won’t be an issue.

Call them up.

Consult.

Easy as that.

A good attorney will seamlessly guide you through the rest of the process. Honestly, you don’t even need the rest of this guide — just give us a call now and we’ll walk you through it step by step! But if you want to understand the process better before that, read on to the next step:

4 – File Your Complaint Against The Hospital

This is where your lawyer files the complaint with your state court. This complaint is pretty much exactly what it sounds like it is. It’s an official complaint against the hospital including what they did wrong, and the amount of money you expect as payment for the damage done.

Next, it’s off to the races! Starting with what may be the most molasses-slow, tedious game you’ve ever played. We call it discovery.

5 – Do The Discovery

What’s discovery, you ask?

It’s a somewhat intrusive process where their team interrogates you and gathers evidence from your team. Your team does the same to them.

This is a very good thing because it gives your lawyer the chance to gather convincing information to win your case with. And that brings us to the final phase in our hospital-suing journey: The trial.

6 – Get Paid (Or Move Forward To The Trial)

After your lawyer investigates, and you file your complaint, and complete discovery, now it’s time (ideally) to get paid.

If the conditions are right, your lawyer will pursue a settlement. If the hospital realizes you’re in the right and they owe you compensation, they may choose to settle. For malpractice cases, 9 times out of 10, the hospital will settle out of court.

If they do, your attorney, the hospital and you will reach an agreement and settle for a fair sum of money.

But if you can’t come to an agreement, for whatever reason, it’s on to the next step in your hospital-suing journey! The trial.

7 – Prep & Get To That Trial

Your lawyer and the rest of the team will hold pre-trial conferences with you (and your witnesses and experts too), to make sure everyone’s on the same page and knows exactly what to expect.

By the time you get to the trial, you’ll be well-prepped and ready to win your case. At the end of your trial the jury will make their decision. If they decide in your favor, congrats, you win!

You wanted to sue the hospital. You did. And now you’ll be rewarded for your hard work, preparation and patience. In the best case, this never would have happened to begin with, but since you’ve been wronged, it’s only right for you to be compensated, in both justice served and a heftier bank account.

Did you like this article? Learn more about the medical malpractice lawsuit process with our medical malpractice lawsuit guide!

5 Myths About Medical Malpractice Attorneys & Lawsuits

Whether you’re in Alaska or here in Houston, contacting a medical malpractice attorney near you can seem like a daunting task.

That’s the first myth we’ll unravel, by the way.

The rest of our malpractice myths include:

► Medical malpractice claims are typically frivolous.

► There’s many more medical malpractice claims than actual malpractice.

► Medical malpractice claims increase health care costs.

► All medical malpractice attorneys are the same.

Let’s dive right in!

#1 Contacting a Nearby Medical Malpractice Lawyer is Difficult

Far from it. We can’t speak on behalf of the other malpractice attorneys out there, but for us, all you have to do is dial our number and we’re there, 24/7.

Or send us a message. From there, we do the heavy lifting for you.

We guide you through the process with over 60 years of collective experience.

And if you live far away from Houston Texas, here’s some simple options to find a good malpractice lawyer (and here’s a list of criteria to help you pick the best of the best):

1. Talk to your family, friends & acquaintances for recommendations.

2. If you know a lawyer you trust, ask if they have any recommendations. (Hint: They will.)

3. Create a list of medical malpractice attorneys near you and interview them, asking questions that will reveal their quality and ability.

Again, we can’t speak for other attorneys, but the vast majority of law firms make you, the prospective client, the #1 priority. That means that, aside from the mental hurdle of picking up the phone, that first conversation should actually be pretty easy.

#2 Medical Malpractice Lawsuits Are “Flippant.’

This is another myth that couldn’t be farther from the truth. In fact, this study from Harvard School of Public Health shows that only 3% of medical malpractice claims could be considered flippant, or “frivolous.”

The problem is that most of the lawsuits that garner our attention are the ones that are sensationalized and wrung out by the media. Like the man who sued a dry cleaner for $67 million when they lost his pants, or the woman who spilled coffee on herself then sued for $2.7 million. These cases are frivolous, but they’re also few and far between.

We’re not hearing about the mother who’s baby was carelessly treated during birth, or the individual who is now quadriplegic because of a surgery error. Every-day people whose lives have been forever altered because of a medical mistake. People who deserve justice. There’s nothing flippant about that.

#3 There’s Many More Medical Malpractice Claims Than Actual Malpractice.

Malpractice, sadly, occurs much more often than medical malpractice lawsuits. The reasons vary. Sometimes doctors hide or make light of their mistakes. Sometimes patients trust their doctors more than they should and never realize they’ve been diagnosed incorrectly, or given the wrong dosage, or have been operated on for the wrong surgery. Et cetera, et cetera.

The moral buried in this myth is to keep your eyes open and be aware — malpractice happens, and it happens often. And when it happens, the chances of the doctor breezing over the mistake or outright hiding it are much higher than you’d think.

You can read more about the rise in medical errors and doctors hiding them here.

#4 Medical Malpractice Claims Increase Health Care Costs.

Nope. Not so much. A number of insurance companies, and even members of government spread this myth.

In fact, medical malpractice claims decreased by over 50% since the early 90s, while…

Blue and green chart showing decrease of medical malpractice claims between the 90s and 2017.

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Blue and white chart showing medical malpractice claims stats.

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…healthcare costs dramatically increased.

Blue and orange chart of growing health costs in US, from 2008 to 2018

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Green and orange chart of medical costs increase up to 2019

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The premiums doctors pay for medical malpractice insurance are probably a lot less than you think. And as mentioned before, the number of cases filed has significantly dropped in the last twenty years. This just isn’t the issue many believe it is.

Want to know what is responsible for US health care being twice as expensive as other developed nations?

According to researchers at Harvard Chan School, the problem is inflated prices.

► Doctors and nurses get paid twice as much, for one (and the care is similar and often lower in quality compared to other developed nations).

► Drugs are incredibly expensive.

► Hospitals in America pay more for diagnostic tests and administration too.

And there you have it. America’s health care is ridiculously expensive, but medical malpractice claims have little to do with it.

Next up, the myth of equality.

#5 All Medical Malpractice Attorneys Are The Same.

Imagine a salesperson, chatting with one of her fellow salespeople, says “you know, I really think every salesperson in this company is equally good.”

It’s just an unfair assessment. We all know that no two people are alike, whether we’re talking salespeople or attorneys. Some people are just better at certain things than others. You wouldn’t hire a family lawyer over a medical malpractice lawyer, if you’re trying to prove medical negligence, right?

More importantly, you wouldn’t hire a bad lawyer over a good one.

That is, if you knew better.

You need to do your research. Don’t place your trust in just anyone. Be selective and hire an attorney with a proven track record, and ideally an attorney whose focus is solely one area of law.

We hope we were able to help debunk a few of the common medical malpractice myths you may have believed.

Don’t forget – if you or someone you love has suffered by the hands of a medical professional, you owe it to yourself to discover the truth and receive what may be owed to you.

 

200% Rise In Medical Errors? [Doctors Are Burning Out & Hiding Medical Mistakes]

What’s the main cause of medical errors?

And how often do doctors make those mistakes?

Do doctors actually hide their mistakes?

These are not easy nuts to crack.

Let’s touch on medical errors —

Some say most medical errors are caused by communication problems. Others say workflow issues, or incorrect patient records or technical failures.

But these are leaf and branch issues — we need to dig to the root of the problem.

In this article, we’ll look into:

► How burnout may increase medical errors by 200%

► The main reasons for doctor burnout

► How often doctors make mistakes

► Whether or not doctors hide or gloss over medical mistakes

This subtle killer has officially claimed the bronze medal for taking the most lives in the US.

Ranking behind only heart disease and cancer itself, medical malpractice is the third leading cause of deaths in the US.

Why?

That’s the million dollar question. One of the most likely culprits is (perhaps not too surprisingly) burnout.

Doctors Are Burning Out More Than Ever

Let’s cover 3 things really quick. First, money. Money holds a lot of sway over the mind, and doctors are far from immune. Most doctors are plagued with medical school debt up to their ears, typically around $200,000 worth, but some pushing North of half a million.

This debt takes most doctors 10 to 30 years to pay off. That’s stressful.

Next up, hours worked. The average doctor works roughly 60 hours, or 1 1/2 times more than the average American. Also stressful.

Last up is suicide. Or more accurately, the work environment that leads to it. The sad truth is, doctors are twice as likely to commit suicide than everyone else in the US. On average, 1 doctor commits suicide every day in the US.

The sum of these problems, in a word — burnout.

According to a recent study on burnout and malpractice, doctors who report signs of burning out are twice as likely to make medical errors.

And that’s just the start.

Here’s a few stats to get you thinking:

► An increasing number of doctors say they’re clinically depressed, or show clear symptoms of depression.

► 9 out of 10 doctors discourage others from joining the profession.

► Worst of all, nearly half of doctors report that they’re burned out (42%).*

That places patients in a tipsy boat threatening to capsize into an ocean of physical, emotional and financial turmoil.

That is, the risk of becoming a victim of medical negligence is high. And unless patients are aware and able to do something about it, they’ll suffer quietly with no justice, physically, emotionally, and financially.

Medical Errors: How Often Do Doctors Make Mistakes?

How many mistakes do doctors make each year? How often do doctors make mistakes?

While this is impossible to know completely, the numbers we do have point to a severe problem:

► More than 1 out of 10 patients are harmed over the course of their medical care. *

► Medical errors result in 250,000 deaths each year. *

► More than 7 out of 10 doctors say they’d admit little or nothing if they made a medical error, and most say they wouldn’t even apologize. *

That means we’ll never know precisely how often doctors make mistakes, because many if not most of them will hide it if they can.

Or best case, “admit little.”

Don’t Blindly Trust Doctors Who May Be Hiding Medical Errors

Now, our medical system is flawed, but hey, what system isn’t? The main takeaway here isn’t that humans create flawed systems. We all get that, much more than we’d like to. No, the point is that you, the patient (or parent or child or other relative of the patient), need to be aware of this.

Many doctors hide mistakes. And too many patients trust them blindly.

For all of the people who stand up for themselves when they feel mistreated, there’s countless others who don’t. And a big reason why they don’t is because medical professionals are seen, by many if not most, as the authority on the subject.

Many people never even realize they’ve become victims of malpractice because they trust authority to a fault.

They believe in a broken system brimming with stressed, over-worked, depressed and likely medicated individuals who make mistakes and oftentimes, refuse to admit it.

And the consequence? These patients suffer with no justice or recompense. Or worse still, their powerless, innocent child does.

Don’t let that be you.

Be Aware Of Medical Errors To Protect Yourself & Your Family 

So. Our medical system is flawed. Our doctors are human. When you take into consideration the mountains of debt on their shoulders, the sheer volume of hours they work, and the piddly wages (compared to the debt) they earn, it’s easy to feel for them.

As Americans, we can easily sympathize with work hours that would make many countries dry heave at the thought, wages lower than we think we deserve and larger than life personal debts.

But we can, perhaps even more so, empathize with the need for justice. We all make mistakes and we all must take responsibility for those mistakes. And the bigger the error, the bigger we pay.

Doctors, like the rest of us, should be held accountable. If they make a medical error, they should receive a fair punishment that fits the crime. And on the other side of that coin, the patient should be fairly compensated.

If you’ve been mistreated by the medical system — even if it is by a doctor or medical professional who probably otherwise means well — You. Are. Owed. Plain and simple.

Take action and receive proper compensation.

It may not be a fair trade, but it’s something. Justice, or near it.