Trends in malpractice awards and adverse actions (e.g., revocation of provider license) following an act or omission constituting medical error or negligence were examined. The National Practitioner Data Bank was used to compare rates of malpractice reports and adverse actions for physicians, physician assistants (PAs), and nurse practitioners (NPs). During 2005 through 2014, there ranged from 11.2 to 19.0 malpractice payment reports per 1,000 physicians, 1.4 to 2.4 per 1,000 PAs, and 1.1 to 1.4 per 1,000 NPs. Physician median payments ranged from 1.3 to 2.3 times higher than PAs or NPs. Diagnosis-related malpractice allegations varied by provider type, with physicians having significantly fewer reports (31.9%) than PAs (52.8%) or NPs (40.6%) over the observation period. Trends in malpractice payment reports may reflect policy enactments to decrease liability.
Medical malpractice is defined by Merriam-Webster as careless, wrong, or illegal actions by a doctor who is performing a professional duty. Most medical-legal cases are settled for a variety of reasons, however, those cases that make it to a court of law rely on experts to teach, train, and educate the jury.
I was recently involved in a medical malpractice case that went against the physician. Remember, most malpractice cases are brought against a physician is in reality bad outcomes, as no one in the medical profession attempts to do the wrong thing to anyone. In this particular case, however, lack of communication and common sense led to a favorable plaintiff's verdict.
A malpractice action requires the plaintiff to prove: (1) the defendant caregiver owed a duty of care to the plaintiff-patient, (2) the caregiver departed from that standard of care, and (3) that departure from the standard of care actually caused the injury claimed by the plaintiff. "Causation" 11; often the critical component in a malpractice action because the presence of a duty is often obvious, except perhaps in "Good Samaritan" cases, but the statutorily-required expert witnesses will argue about whether the caregiver departed from some standard of care. Because defining "causation" is difficult, there are interesting distinctions in legal versus medical, sociological, or philosophical concepts of cause-and-effect. Applying this difficult concept of "causation" to the very complex world of labor and delivery (L&D) does indeed beg the question, just how can causation be established?
In 1998, problems with my vision forced me to retire from the active practice of cardiac surgery.
We assessed whether physician assistant (PA) and nurse practitioner (NP) utilization increases liability.
Each lawsuit is different, and each state has different laws. In general, this is the process in Florida. Your case may proceed differently. We can break it down into 4 stages: investigation, pre-suit, suit, and post-verdict. The process takes months to years. Mediation (meeting with the other side to try to settle) can occur during any of the 3 later stages. It is very important, so we will discuss it here too.