According to an article published by Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, as of last year, medical malpractice jury verdicts dropped significantly. While many individuals in the medical community believe this may come as a relief from increasing insurance premiums, many attorneys believe this is an indication that injured patients are not being provided with opportunities for redress.
Reports state that in the state of Pennsylvania, juries issued verdicts in 449 malpractice cases. Of those medical malpractice cases, 78.4% of those verdicts were decided in favor of the defendant. In 2015, 78.2% of 101 verdicts favored medical professionals and hospitals.
Lawrence Kelly, the president of the Western Pennsylvania Trial Lawyers Association, explained that the insurers and the medical community has worked diligently to build a jury that is bias when handling these types of medical malpractice cases. Some believe that legislators and jurors are able to convince juries to do so by creating scenarios that allow doctors to abandon entire towns over liability concerns.
Kelly continued, stating that now, preventable errors that occur in hospitals are now the third most common causes of fatality in the United States. He, along with others, believe that persons in the medical professionals should not be so concerned with the decreasing number of medical malpractice verdicts as they should be about the 440,000 preventable fatalities that occur every year.
In addition, court records determine that it has become much more difficult to win medical malpractice cases that move to verdicts. In fact, according to Rockville, Md.-based Physician Insurers Association of America, verdict cases make up less than 9% of the medical liability cases that are actually resolved.
Kelly added that if medical professionals continue to not be held accountable for their action and malpractice, these types of errors will continue, and the public will continue to suffer avoidable consequences.
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