Medical Malpractice Insurance Costs Still High Reports Cleveland Medical Malpractice Lawyer
Cleveland, OH (Law Firm Newswire) March 30, 2012 - Medical malpractice insurance premiums are high in spite of tort reform, not because of it.
“It depends on how you look at medical malpractice as to how you feel about it. If you are a doctor, you may dread the day you are sued as the costs of defending such an action is quite high. Along with the high costs of litigation, comes the high cost of medical malpractice insurance. Which came first? The chicken or the egg?” inquired Christopher Mellino. Mellino is a Cleveland medical malpractice lawyer of the Mellino Law Firm LLC, in Ohio.
Two recent medical liability (tort) reform reports released by the American Medical Association and the Medical Liability Monitor have revealed that the average cost to defend a medical malpractice suit in 2010 was $47,158 and that in the same year roughly 63 percent of closed claims against doctors were dismissed, withdrawn or dropped, with no payments made. The cost to defend those actions ran around $26,851.
Actions that made it to court and saw a jury verdict rendered ranked about 8 percent for the defendant doctor and 0.6 percent for the plaintiff patient. In the cases where the jury found for the plaintiff, the average settlement was $331,947. The reports also showed that more doctors are now carrying insurance for more than $1 million.
Overall, the information presented by the two reports seemingly indicates that excess litigation against doctors would indicate the need for medical liability reform. At least, that is what the American Medical Association thinks. They also suggest the system is broken and because of that, everyone pays a price.
“While I agree that the system is broken, I vigorously disagree that there is excessive litigation in medical malpractice matters. Malpractice lawyers do not take any old case that walks through the doors and try and make it into a major medical negligence case. Typically, they take the cases that need justice to be done for the patient and someone to be held responsible for their medical negligence. Simply put, if doctors did not make egregious mistakes, there would be no lawsuits,” Mellino stated.
The reports do point out some interesting information, but they seem to skirt reality; the reality of what a medical malpractice victim faces when they take a case to court. Not everyone is waiting in the weeds with a gleam in their eye, thinking they can go ahead and file a medical malpractice lawsuit and get rich. The system does not work that way. Instead, it represents those who are in serious need of compensation for a botched surgery, a procedure gone wrong or a death due to an inexperienced physician.
“Do some cases lose in court? Yes, but that is not something anyone can predict. A jury does what a jury does. You have no control over their decisions. The point I make is that excessive litigation just does not exist among the ranks of medical malpractice lawyers. Who could afford it? Certainly not the patient and not the lawyer. It’s time someone took a serious look at malpractice for what it is, which is someone messing up in their job. It’s that simple, and they must take responsibility for their mistakes,” insisted Mellino.
Mellino Law Firm LLC
200 Public Sq., Suite 2900
Cleveland, Ohio 44114
Call: (216) 241-1901
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