Medical Malpractice System Works Says Americans for Insurance Reform

Posted on Mar 06, 2010
Should Americans give up constitutional rights because insurance companies claim that the current medical malpractice system does not work?  Only 4% of actual instances of medical malpractice result in a lawsuit claim. Yet some insist that the ability of patients and families to recover from the damages caused by negligence or even recklessness should be restricted.

Americans for Insurance Reform, a consumer and family safety protection group, asserts that the current medical medical malpractice system is not working and cites the following from a study by the Harvard School of Public Health:

* Sixty-three percent of the injuries were judged to be the result of error and most of those claims received compensation; on the other hand, most individuals whose claims did not involve errors or injuries received nothing.

* Eighty percent of claims involved injuries that caused significant or major disability or death.

* "The profile of non-error claims we observed does not square with the notion of opportunistic trial lawyers pursuing questionable lawsuits in circumstances in which their chances of winning are reasonable and prospective returns in the event of a win are high. Rather, our findings underscore how difficult it may be for plaintiffs and their attorneys to discern what has happened before the initiation of a claim and the acquisition of knowledge that comes from the investigations, consultation with experts, and sharing of information that litigation triggers."

* "Disputing and paying for errors account for the lion's share of malpractice costs."

* "Previous research has established that the great majority of patients who sustain a medical injury as a result of negligence do not sue. ... [F]ailure to pay claims involving error adds to a larger phenomenon of underpayment generated by the vast number of negligent injuries that never surface as claims."

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