Florida medical malpractice lawyer, Guy S. DiMartino, DC, JD, gives his input into why medical malpractice payments dropped to their lowest number on record in 2011.
For years, we have heard that there is a lawsuit crisis and many good doctors are leaving the professional because of medical malpractice claim that are filed by greedy patients and their lawyers. The numbers show this is just not true. On the whole, more and more people are severely injured by medical malpractice, and yet, the number of claims being filed and the monies received on a per claim basis have been steadily trending down. Public Citizen, a watch dog group, noted that the average payment for medical malpractice claims in 2011 was $327,600.
I believe these trends are going to continue downward for a number of reasons. First, the insurance company and medical lobby is very strong and every year they take away patients rights. For instance in Florida, if you file a medical malpractice claim, you now have to give the other side an authorization allowing the doctor's lawyer(s) to speak with your treating physicians without a patient representative being present. Second, the Florida legislature has passed laws, capping the amount of recovery for pain and suffering damages for catastrophically injured patients. Finally, the news is full of rhetoric and propaganda that there is some relationship between the cost of healthcare and medical malpractice suits, which again, is not supported by the numbers.
These factors working together have caused attorneys who take these cases to pass on a number of viable cases because the risk is too great and the reward is so little.
Florida medical malpractice law is complex. If you have any questions about a potential medical malpractice claim, contact Guy S. DiMartino, DC, JD at (352) 267-9168 or fill out the internet consultation box on the right hand side of the screen.