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Trial odds may be against medical malpractice victims

If you believe you are the victim of medical malpractice, the odds of obtaining a fair recovery may be against you.

According to one research study which examined more than 10,000 malpractice law suits from around the country, only 4.5% of those suits even reached the stage of a jury trial. Once there, few of the victims won: more than half were dismissed, and most of the remaining claims ended in settlement.

Medical malpractice disputes are hard-fought, with the average malpractice claim taking 19 months to resolve. Payment may also be uncertain. According to the same research study, although most physicians in some specialties face malpractice claims at some point in their careers, nearly 80% fail to pay off to the victims.

Given these sobering statistics, you would be well served to consult with an attorney if you were injured in a medical procedure and believe it was caused by the negligence — either by act or omission — of your health care provider. Even though the issue of fault may seem clear to you, an attorney can advise you on the best way to prove that the treatment you received did not meet the accepted standard of practice in the medical community, resulting in injury to you. Those standards typically vary by practice area and location.

Medical professionals may also have insurance which may make it harder for you to prove your claim. In addition, you may have serious injuries, medical bills, impaired job function, insurance claims and countless other distractions of your time. At a time like that, you need an attorney on your side to help you navigate the complexity of medical malpractice law.

Source: MedPage Today, “Docs Win Most Malpractice Cases at Trial,” John Gever, May 15, 2012