A recent report in Forbes Magazine has renewed the debate regarding medical malpractice reform in the United States.
The amount of time that a physician spends with open malpractice claims varies dramatically between specialties according to researchers. Doctors in Illinois and around the country face a medical malpractice lawsuit about every 7 years. Neurosurgeons spend on average 131 months of 40-year careers fighting malpractice claims whereas psychiatrists spend about 16 months of their careers with open claims.
Forbes reports that the average malpractice claim takes 43 months to resolve and is filed about two years after the original incident happened. The prompt filing of a claim can help preserve a patient’s rights because memories and evidence tend to be less reliable as time passes.
Many physicians and insurers have sought to enact tort reform by expediting how quickly claims are resolved. Doctor-enacted tort reform often also involves depriving patients of their rights to recovery after a serious medical malpractice incident.
Some patients may feel pressured to prematurely settle malpractice claims with their doctors or hospitals. It is always important to discuss your case with an experienced medical malpractice attorney to determine the full potential value of your case. Many low-ball offers from insurers and hospitals often leave patients unable to fully recoup the long-term costs associated with a malpractice incident such as future medical expenses, lost wages and a diminished quality of life.