Every medical personnel who harms others through their negligence should be held accountable for their actions. However, care should be taken that only cases with merit are prosecuted because frivolous cases harm all stakeholders of the medical industry. Here are three dangers of processing frivolous medical malpractice costs:
Frivolous Lawsuits Drive up Costs of Medical Care
Medical malpractice lawsuits, whether they arise out of genuine or frivolous cases, drive up the cost of medical care in several ways. An increase in the number of medical malpractice cases results in a rise in medical malpractice insurance. Of course, medical practices or doctors have to pass these costs to their clients (patients). Imagine all of these happening because people are filing claims that aren't actually malpractice. Also, some doctors may also feel the need to practice defensive medicine, which involves ordering a battery of tests to reduce their exposure to lawsuits.
Reduced Quality of Health Care
Since some specialties, such as emergency medicine and gynecology, are more risk prone, it also follows that they attract higher premiums than less risky specialties. No doctor likes to be sued. Therefore, some doctors may avoid these specialties, especially in regions that have above average malpractice insurance costs. Others may even avoid practicing in localities that have a high number of medical malpractice lawsuits and high premiums. All of these reduce the quality of healthcare for some people, especially those who live in rural areas since rural doctors are more sensitive to premium changes.
Difficulty in Winning
Lastly, you also have to consider the difficulty of winning a medical malpractice lawsuit. By their nature, medical malpractice cases are some of the most difficult lawsuits to win. It's not easy to come up with adequate evidence to convince a judge or jury to win a malpractice case. Juries countrywide tend not to sympathize with malpractice plaintiffs. There seems to be a tacit understanding among the public (after all, jurors are picked from the public) that it's not easy to practice medicine, and some people will end up injured despite their doctors' best attempts. In fact, in most cases, the doctor prevails.
Everybody suffers if you don't win the case. The lawyer doesn't get their money (since most cases are handled on a contingency basis) and you waste time and resources without getting the compensation you hoped for. Even the court system feels the strain of having to litigate your case.
Considering all these, you shouldn't feel too bad if your lawyer advises you against pursuing what you think is a medical malpractice case. Sure, it's not bad to seek a second opinion, but you should understand it when they all advise you on the weakness of your case. Still, it's a fact of life that genuine medical malpractices do occur, which is why you shouldn't make the decision to follow through or drop a claim without involving your lawyer.