A medical malpractice civil action (lawsuit) is one where the person filing the action believes that the medical provider deviated from the “standard of care” and caused harm to someone. The standard of care means that the medical provider did something or did not do something that other medical providers would have done, and as a result of the act or omission a person was injured. It is no secret that I feel the Courthouses must be open to every person regardless of their status, amount of money, color, race, or any other factor. A plumber should have as much access to the Courthouse as the pilot. A housewife who does not work, but takes care of her kids should have the same access to the Court System as a doctor or corporation. If we start automatically limiting the right of people or making it more difficult for them to have access to the legal system, when does it stop. What happen when suddenly we wake up and we no longer have the right to seek justice in Court.
Medical malpractice actions are some of the hardest cases a lawyer can handle. I am going to tell you just like it is in these matters. Doctors enjoy an elevated status in our society. People accord them a higher degree of respect than is afforded to an ordinary person. Juries believe doctors more than they believe the average witness. Statistically, doctors win over 66 of the medical malpractice cases that are filed. It is very, very hard to find a doctor in this area who is willing to testify against another doctor. There is this code of silence. Doctors are also very hostile to the legal system and toward attorneys. The doctors charge attorneys outrageous amounts of money for depositions even when the depositions are for the doctor’s own patients. I would be willing to bet that you could talk to ten (10) attorneys who are handling malpractice actions and they could give you concrete examples of cases where doctors hurt the cases of their own patients just because the doctors were hostile to the attorneys or legal system.
Let’s get one thing straight. I am not hostile or “down on the medical establishment.” My family is equally divided between the medical field and the legal field. In fact there may be more members who work in the medical field than legal. What I am against is affording anyone what amounts to super-extra protection in the legal system when that person, business, or corporation fails to follow the rules and as a result harms someone or a family. The Insurance Industry has used doctors for years, and are still using them, to push for changes in the legal system that benefits the Insurance Industry. There was a wonderfully informative article written by a doctor and I am attaching the link for as long as the link lasts. In summary the doctor says that civil actions help protect patients from doctors who perform badly and there is really no other way to adequately protect the public. (http://www.salon.com/opinion/feature/2009/10/27/malpractice_reform/)
I don’t care if you are a doctor, a lawyer, a billionaire, a carpenter, or any other job or profession. Every person should be treated equally in the legal system. Otherwise, what kind of country do we have. In Mississippi doctors have been given super protection. Cases against them are nearly impossible now. These bad laws don’t stop frivolous lawsuits; they stop the real lawsuits where people are harmed by bad medicine. Well, if that’s what people want, that is what they will get. I hope I can get a law passed protecting me from my mistakes. I encourage you to go to your Legislator and ask to get a special bill passed protecting you from your errors. (See how fast he laughs). Then no one will be responsible for anything. We won’t have to follow any rules of any kind and no Will have no consequences. Does that sound good? Incidentally, my office represents medical professionals when they get in trouble with the law. You know what? They want all of their legal rights then. And they should have them; just like the general public should be entitled to their legal rights if someone is injured by a medical error.
Before I end let me say this about the term frivolous lawsuits. There aren’t that many. I not going to tell you that at some point in time in this country of 300 million plus someone does not file a frivolous lawsuit. I am also not going to tell you that people don’t run red light; that corporations don’t produce bad drugs that hurt people; that banks and finance companies don’t charge too much interest because it happens. But I can tell you that no attorney “worth his salt” is going to file a frivolous lawsuit because it costs money! Think about this the next time you are asked to give up your rights or the future of the rights of your family. The ads and information you have been hearing on frivolous lawsuits are lies, plain and simple. If you ever want to talk about it my office is open to you.
Disclaimer: This blog is intended as general information purposes only, and is not a substitute for legal advice. Anyone with a legal problem should consult a lawyer immediately.