Malpractice cases and payouts are expensive. Due to the enormous amount of expenses that are dealt out to victims of malpractice, everyone somehow eventually pays to keep the healthcare system floating. Higher physician insurance, higher bills for patients and more expenses for procedures all rise due to malpractice. In a perfect world, malpractice does not exist, but individuals make mistakes. Legal Nurse Consultants play a key role in determining if malpractice occurred for numerous law firms. They help decide if a case has merit or not and if the procedures were within the standards of care.
Ultimately, some malpractice cases are more expensive than others. In the article, “When medicine goes wrong: 5 of the most expensive malpractice lawsuits” from the Gazette, the most expensive malpractice cases are listed. Among them are brain damage claims, cancer treatment, loss of limbs, misdiagnosis leading to death, heart attack treatment and anesthesiology errors. The article states,
“In the United States of America, medical negligence is one of the most frequent causes of death, with more than 200,000 deaths a year as a result of malpractice. In general, those health professionals who are affected by this situation are the ones who make a mistake when making a diagnosis, when prescribing medicine or by not establishing adequate communication with their patients or colleagues in the transfer of a person.”
“When medicine goes wrong: 5 of the most expensive malpractice lawsuits” The Gazette. January 21st, 2023.
To read the entire article, please click here
Legal Nurse Consultants play a large role in determining malpractice for law firms. They help investigate the case and see if it has any merit. They look to see if the care giver deviated from standard of care or if made a dangerous decision. Furthermore, Legal Nurse Consultants play roles in the court room as expert witnesses regarding the case.
What is malpractice?
Malpractice, also known as medical negligence, is when a medical professional or facility fails to provide proper medical care. In most cases, malpractice occurs when a medical professional or facility fails to provide the standard of care that a reasonable medical professional would provide in a similar situation.
When medical malpractice occurs, the patient may suffer physical, emotional, and/or financial harm. The patient is then entitled to file a malpractice claim, which is a civil lawsuit that seeks to recover damages for the harm done. Legal firms work with Legal Nurse Consultants to determine validity of each case.
Types of medical malpractice cases
Medical malpractice cases come in all shapes and sizes. Some of the most common types of medical malpractice cases include:
- Misdiagnosis or delayed diagnosis
- Failure to provide appropriate treatment
- Surgical errors
- Birth injuries
- Medication errors
- Wrongful death
In each case, the patient is seeking to recover damages for the harm they have suffered. To do this, they must prove that the medical professional or facility was negligent and that the negligence was responsible for their injury or illness.
The costs of medical malpractice
The costs of medical malpractice can be astronomical. In addition to medical expenses and lost wages, a patient may also be entitled to pain and suffering damages, which can range into the millions of dollars.
In some cases, the medical malpractice may have resulted in a wrongful death. In this case, the victim’s family may be entitled to compensation for funeral expenses, emotional distress, and loss of companionship.
The most jaw-droppingly expensive malpractice cases
When it comes to medical malpractice cases, some of the most jaw-droppingly expensive are those that resulted in a wrongful death. For example, in the case of the “Black Widower,” Richard Anguiano was found guilty of murder after he caused the death of his wife by improperly administering medication. The family of the victim was awarded $10 million in damages.
Another example is the case of John and Loretta Capone. After John suffered a fatal heart attack due to medical negligence, his widow Loretta was awarded $25 million in damages. This was the largest settlement ever awarded in a medical malpractice case in the United States.
These cases are just the tip of the iceberg. There have been numerous other cases where medical malpractice has resulted in huge financial awards, including a $37.6 million award to a family whose son was born with cerebral palsy due to medical negligence, and a $26.6 million award to a family whose daughter was born with birth defects caused by medical negligence.
How to reduce the risk of malpractice claims
While it is impossible to eliminate all risks of medical malpractice, there are steps that medical professionals and facilities can take to reduce the risk of a malpractice claim. These steps include:
- Ensuring that all medical staff are properly trained and certified
- Utilizing evidence-based practices
- Keeping accurate and detailed medical records
- Documenting all patient interactions
- Following up with patients after treatment
- Adhering to safety protocols
By taking these steps, medical professionals and facilities can reduce the risk of a malpractice claim and provide the best possible care to their patients.
Perspectives on malpractice
When it comes to medical malpractice, there are multiple perspectives to consider. On one hand, medical malpractice cases can be incredibly expensive, and can have a major impact on a medical professional or facility’s bottom line. On the other hand, medical malpractice cases are often necessary in order to ensure that patients receive the care they deserve and are entitled to under the law.
It is important to remember that medical malpractice cases are not about punishing medical professionals or facilities, but rather about ensuring that patients receive the highest quality of care.
Medical malpractice cases can be incredibly expensive, especially when they result in a wrongful death. These cases can also provide important lessons to medical professionals and facilities, and can help ensure that patients receive the care they deserve.
At the end of the day, it is important to remember that medical malpractice cases are not about punishing medical professionals or facilities, but rather about ensuring that patients receive the care they are entitled to under the law.
If you wish to work in the malpractice field as a Legal Nurse Consultant, then please review AIHCP’s College of Legal Nurse Consulting. The Legal Nurse Consulting Certification is a four year certification that one can earn by taking the online courses. Please review and see if the Legal Nursing Programing meets your academic and professional goals.
“What is medical malpractice?”. Yvette Brazier. April 5th, 2017. Medical News Today. Access here
“Marginal medical malpractice cases harm everyone”. Frank Francone. September 6th, 2022. Washington Examiner. Access here
“The Malpractice Crisis”. Frank Spencer. April 2005. AMA Journal of Ethics. Access here
“What Is Medical Malpractice?”. WebMD Editorial Contributors. September 19th, 2022. WebMD. Access here