A recent article from Forbes discussed the topic of medical malpractice lawsuits, particularly, how the motivation in filing a malpractice lawsuit is not always about a monetary damage award. Although many areas of personal injury law have emotional aspects to them which go beyond monetary awards, medical malpractice lawsuits and the emotion involved in them can be especially motivated by more than simply a damage award. It is critical to secure the services of a skilled Miami malpractice attorney to succeed in your case.
Recent Case of Malpractice
The Forbes article discussed a daughter whose mother was in a hospital. The mother was not doing well, and the patient’s daughter called the treating doctor to change medications. She was met with a refusal to even respond, with the treating doctor saying that it was a weekend and he needed a break. The mother eventually did survive, but the daughter, upset with the standard of care, and wanting to effect a change, opted to file a formal complaint with the governing medical board as opposed to filing a lawsuit.
We often hear politicians saying that medical malpractice lawsuits are expensive and something to avoid. But unfortunately, as the Forbes article further points out, other alternatives to malpractice lawsuits—such as registering complaints with governing agencies or boards that regulate medical professionals—often go nowhere. The fact is that often, a lawsuit is the only avenue that that really gets anyone’s attention or motivates any type of systemic change.
Victims Seek More Than Monetary Damages
Victims of malpractice often are not just seeking compensation, but also seek change or reform. A malpractice victim may sue with the hope that the suit may bring to light a problem in the medical system. One famous case that made such changes is the Libby Zion law, a law in New York which limits the hours medical residents can work. The law was enacted after a lawsuit was filed when a medical intern, deprived of sleep, made a medical error leading to the death of a patient.
Certainly, lawsuits don’t solve every problem, and there is nothing a judge or jury can do to compel a doctor or medical facility to change its ways. Those who have been malpractice victims, or who have had family members who were victims, should keep in mind that litigation will require them to relive what may be bad memories, and may prevent them from putting the event behind them. And in the end, there is usually no obvious “punishment” other than a significant money award.
Still, for those aggrieved by malpractice, a lawsuit is their chance to face those who may have wronged them, and to hold medical providers responsible. And large damage awards do tend to effect change, be it through discipline of offending treaters, or changes in policy or procedure.
Contact Our Attorneys
If you think you have been a victim of medical malpractice, don’t wait to seek help. Malpractice suits have short timeframes in which a lawsuit can be brought, and medical malpractice is a specialized area of personal injury law. Talk to the Miami injury attorneys of Gerson & Schwartz, P.A. today for a free consultation to discuss your case.