Can Defensive Medicine Affect My Malpractice Claim?Mississippi Legal News
Many people might be wondering if defensive medicine could decrease their chances of filing a successful malpractice claim. Since medical malpractice claims depend on proving negligence, counterevidence of defensive medicine may have an impact. Being aware of what defensive medicine is may help you strengthen your claim. You can also talk to a Jackson medical malpractice attorney about what your legal options are.
What is Defensive Medicine?
The basic definition of defensive medicine is treatment-related actions taken by a medical professional to decrease the chances of being sued. In this way, the medical professional is acting more to decrease lawsuits than to help the patient. As medical malpractice claims seem to grow, so does the use of defensive medicine.
Around 79% of medical workers ordered more tests than needed, 74% made unnecessary referrals to specialists, and 51% reported using invasive procedures when the diagnosis was already confirmed. These practices do not only affect medical treatments and diagnoses, but also medications. Nearly 41% of doctors said they prescribed more medications, for longer periods than warranted.
Not only that, but medical staff members often admit the reasons behind practicing defensive medicine. Around 66% of nurses and 84% of hospital administrators openly report that avoiding lawsuits is the reason behind these practices.
When it comes to avoiding lawsuits, many doctors will also take additional steps other than defensive medicine. Some medical professionals may go as far as to fabricate or destroy evidence. They may involve others in this deception to cover up what really happened. The irony is that defensive medicine has been known to harm patients.
How Can Defensive Medicine Impact My Claim?
The harms of defensive medicine are not only affecting small clinics, but hospitals, emergency rooms, and other treatment centers. Other than higher medical costs, patients may also have to deal with:
- Painful and unnecessary tests or treatments
- Invasive procedures that were not needed
- Longer hospitalizations with expensive medical bills
- Failure to treat high-risk patients
- Prescribing medications longer than needed, leading to adverse effects or dependence
A problem arises for patients who suffered harm tied with defensive medicine. Medical professionals who caused harm to a patient may try to use defensive medicine as a legal defense. They may demonstrate evidence of using defensive medicine to claim that they took steps to avoid harming the patient.
When this happens, your best bet might be to contact a Jackson medical malpractice lawyer for advice. A lawyer can help you navigate this tricky situation to figure out what steps you will need to take. You could potentially earn more compensation for the harm you suffered. Your lawyer can also defend your claim in court if needed.
Medical Malpractice Attorney in Jackson
You could be eligible for significant compensation if you suffered harm from your doctor. Call the Germany Law Firm, PLLC today at (607) 487-0555 to talk to a Mississippi medical malpractice lawyer for a consultation. Our dedicated legal team can increase your chances of receiving compensation for medical costs, pain and suffering, and lost wages. We can be found in Jackson, Madison, Gulfport, Oxford, and other cities in Mississippi.