The short answer is NO. Statistically speaking, last year, of all the medical malpractice cases that were tried in the United States, the healthcare providers/physicians won two-thirds (2/3 ). That means that the patients bringing the cases only won those cases one-third (1/3) of the time.
In cases involving the allegation of misdiagnosis in a medical malpractice case, patients only won 37% of the jury trials against the defendant health care providers. These lopsided statistics demonstrate that the jury system in this country is not using sympathy to give run away verdicts to patients of medical malpractice Other recent research shows that the amount of medical malpractice awards that are given to plaintiffs by juries have decreased substantially since 2002.
Moreover, a Harvard Study demonstrated that only about 2% of documented medical malpractice cases actually result in a case being filed against a healthcare provider. Thus, not only are a small majority of documented cases being brought, but of those that are brought and tried, most are lost by the patient.
Given these seemingly insurmountable odds, how does an injured patient stand a chance of bringing such a claim? The answer is to choose an experienced lawyer who carefully screens the cases to determine the best odds of winning at trial.
One reason for the lopsided results of jury trials in medical malpractice cases is a built in bias in favor of the healthcare providers. Most judges and juries give the benefit of the doubt in a close case to the healthcare provider. In fact, most lawyers will not handle a case where the issue involves a swearing match between a patient and a doctor and the medical records are silent on the issue.
In order to have the best chance of beating these odds, a potential client should consider the following:
· Carefully screen and choose and experienced medical malpractice lawyer
· Obtain a complete copy of the medical records without alerting the healthcare provider that a suit is being contemplated;
· Have your lawyer put the case through a rigorous and thorough screening process by highly qualified physician experts. Do not rely on just the attorney’s opinion about whether a potential case exists;
· Cooperate with your lawyer and follow his recommendations;
· Document the story by keeping a journal or time line of events at the time they occur or shortly after