MISSISSIPPI. The reality is that many victims of medical malpractice and medical negligence won’t ever have the opportunity to pursue negligent doctors in court. Families and victims may end up shouldering the medical bills and funeral costs for loved ones on their own, unaware that they could have received compensation for their loved ones’ pain and suffering, lost wages, and medical expenses. In the case of wrongful death due to medical malpractice, families may not realize that they could have received money to cover funeral costs and other expenses. The sad reality is that families may face serious barriers when they try to seek answers from doctors and hospitals about what may have gone wrong with a loved one’s care. According to ProPublica, in some cases, health care providers may actually hide the truth from families and victims when they try to understand what went wrong. Health care providers are incentivized for not admitting their mistakes. After all, they don’t want to face medical malpractice lawsuits.
This puts families in a tough position where they often have to serve as their own investigators. Because doctors may not be willing to give open and honest answers, for many families, their only recourse is to speak to a medical malpractice lawyer like Bullock & Wood who can investigate whether the family has a case.
According to a recent ProPublica investigation, of 1000 people surveyed who suffered a medical malpractice injury, only 1 out of 5 doctors actually admitted their errors. In the case of doctors who disclosed the error, half of the doctors who disclosed the mistake only did so under pressure from either the family or their medical malpractice lawyer. And only 1 out of 8 injured patients ever received an apology. At the end of the day, medical providers may be more concerned with their own legal liability than with being honest with their patients. This can create a dangerous situation. Failing to admit mistakes can cover up systemic issues, leading to more mistakes down the line. Hiding errors leads to problems of accountability which means poorer health care for patients.
According to another ProPublica investigation, the medical malpractice lawsuit system makes it financially prohibitive for individuals with smaller claims to pursue them, while rewarding those who have larger claims. Proving negligence can be difficult and costly, and doctors often won’t admit when they’ve harmed a patient. However, some states are trying a new system. Rather than relying on medical malpractice lawsuits being settled in the private system, public programs have been designed in some states to compensate patients when medical malpractice occurs. In Denmark, the system is nationwide. Patients are informed immediately when errors take place, the government is informed, patients are paid for their medical malpractice claims, and doctors use the data and error to make the system better.
Many patients pursue medical malpractice claims because they want answers. If you believe your loved one may have suffered due to medical negligence or if you believe you have a wrongful death medical malpractice claim, don’t suffer in silence. Bullock & Wood are wrongful death lawyers in Mississippi who understand the unique challenges families face. Lack of information and lack of openness on the part of doctors is often the biggest barrier to justice. Often families don’t learn the truth until they hire a medical malpractice lawyer.