In recent years, hospitals have become increasingly more open with patients: more than four out of five hospitals in a recent survey have a policy of apologizing to patients when errors occur. The survey, conducted by UCLA law professor Joanna Schwartz and published in the October 2013 New York University Law Review, found that medical malpractice litigation actually acts to decrease medical errors by creating openness and transparency in response to litigation risks. Hospitals have found that by disclosing mistakes to patients and offering quick settlements, they are reducing the costs and necessity of medical malpractice litigation.
Another fascinating finding; medical malpractice cases are a unique source of information about medical errors. More than 95 percent of the hospitals surveyed use knowledge gleaned from lawsuits to improve the care of patients. The lawsuits can also point to needed improvements in hospital policies and procedures that can impact patient care.
While the number of medical malpractice claims nationally is often perceived as high, another study in the New England Journal of Medicine demonstrates that only 1.53 percent of medical negligence incidents eventually lead to lawsuits. This finding, coupled with Professor Schwartz’ conclusion that malpractice suits have a positive impact on patient care, suggests that maybe there are not too many medical malpractice lawsuits filed after all.
If you’ve been injured in an instance of medical malpractice, act promptly. In California, the statute of limitations starts ticking from the moment a malpractice incident happens. Contact an experienced California personal injury attorney to make certain that your case is filed in time and that your rights are protected in court. If you’re a victim, you have the right to be compensated. A good personal injury lawyer will evaluate your case and provide the sound advice and aggressive legal representation you need. If you’ve been injured by medical malpractice in California, contact an experienced California personal injury attorney as quickly as possible.