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Medical Malpractice: Myths and Facts

Updated February 23, 2023 | By Wilson Kehoe Winingham staff

What do you think about when you hear the term medical malpractice? Things like rising healthcare costs, victims searching for a get-rich-quick scheme, or doctors shelling out hundreds of thousands of dollars may come to mind. But these common beliefs aren’t true at all.

Decades of misconceptions have led to the popularity of such myths, and the reality of medical malpractice litigation is much different.

Common Medical Malpractice Myths

Take a look at these myths about medical malpractice and, more importantly, the realities behind those falsehoods.

Medical Errors Are Rare

Sadly, medical errors are not rare. In fact, they’re extraordinarily common. Medical errors are the third highest cause of death in the United States, accounting for 250,000 deaths per year. With 10% of all deaths falling under the category of medical error, it’s easy to disprove this myth.

Victims Are Looking to Get Rich

An overwhelming majority of medical malpractice victims aren’t looking to get rich. Instead, they are seeking compensation for the damages they have incurred due to negligence on behalf of the hospital or healthcare professional. Such costs could include the loss of wages, medical bills and expenses, therapy, or rehabilitation, among others.

Malpractice Claims Drive Up Healthcare Costs

This popular myth is simply not true. In fact, as healthcare costs have continued to rise for the last several decades, the costs of medical malpractice have decreased.

The total cost of malpractice insurance, litigation, and payouts accounts for approximately one third of one percent of all medical costs in the United States—literally a fraction of a cent for every dollar spent on healthcare. Medical malpractice cannot take the blame for the rise in healthcare costs and insurance premiums.

Arguably, rising healthcare and insurance costs are due to many factors, such as inflation on the part of pharmaceutical companies and the insurance industry’s economic cycle.

Doctors Can’t Afford to Practice Because of Malpractice Claims

Myths about doctors paying out of pocket after medical malpractice lawsuits are prevalent, but the reality is that most medical professionals are protected by liability insurance. This insurance protects doctors from liability in medical malpractice claims. Most hospitals and employers in Indiana require doctors to carry liability insurance.

Medical Malpractice Attorneys Are Too Expensive

Most personal injury attorneys specializing in medical malpractice work on a contingency fee basis, meaning that a fee is only recovered from clients if the case is successful. If the lawsuit is unsuccessful, clients are not charged for the legal services they were provided.

All Medical Malpractice Attorneys Are the Same

Don’t mistake this myth for fact: Finding the right medical malpractice attorney is key to a successful case. Look for an attorney who has a specialty in medical malpractice law, a history of representing plaintiffs, a network of medical experts at hand, familiarity with the medical field, and strong communication skills.

Contact a Medical Malpractice Attorney Today

If you or a loved one have been injured as a result of medical malpractice, contact the Indianapolis Medical Malpractice Attorneys of Wilson Kehoe Winingham. The lawyers at WKW can help you and your family get the compensation you deserve. Call 317.920.6400 or fill out an online contact form for a free, no-obligation case evaluation.

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Let WKW put our experience to work for you. Contact us for your free case evaluation.


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