• Lawyer 20.01.2015 No Comments

    For patients seeking medical treatment in Manhattan, Brooklyn, the Bronx or surrounding areas, medical mistakes and physician negligence are the last thing they want to think about. Medical malpractice remains a serious problem in the United States and patients need to be aware of some of the risks associated with getting medical care so they can be proactive patient advocates and do everything they can to protect themselves and family members from errors. 

    A medical malpractice attorney in New York can provide a case evaluation for patients who believe they may have been the victim of a medical error. Those who have been harmed can seek monetary compensation for damages and losses. Patients who are getting medical treatment should also be aware of the statistics on medical negligence so they can do appropriate research and make informed choices about where to seek treatment.

    Facts and Statistics on Medical Malpractice

    The Health Care Professionals Network recently published some statistics on medical malpractice as part of its Physician’s Money Digest. Some of the important things that doctors and patients should be aware of include the following:

    • In 2013, a total of $3.7 billion was paid out to resolve medical malpractice claims.
    • The record high annual payouts for claims occurred in 2003, when $5.7 billion was paid out to patients who had been victims of medical error.
    • The median payout for plaintiffs in a medical malpractice case as $195,000 in 2013. The record high median payout occurred in 2007, when the median was $218,400.
    • 96 percent of all medical malpractice claims are resolved outside of court.
    • New York is one of the states with the highest per capita medical malpractice payouts. Other top states include New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts and Connecticut. The states with the lowest payouts for medical malpractice include Indiana, North Dakota, Wisconsin, Texas and Mississippi.
    • A total of 45 percent of plaintiffs in medical malpractice claims are inpatients at the time when the medical error occurs.
    • 38 percent of medical malpractice patients were outpatients at the time of the medical error leading to their injury or wrongful death case.
    • 33 percent of medical malpractice allegations arise out of diagnostic errors. This is the most common cause of medical malpractice cases.
    • 23 percent of malpractice claims arise from problems during surgery.
    • 18 percent of patients making medical malpractice claims allege that there was a problem with the treatment they received.
    • 10 percent of medical malpractice claims are brought against physicians in the field of obstetrics.
    • 10 percent of medical malpractice claims arise out of problems with amnesia or medications. Most amnesia-related claims involve tooth damage (21 percent of claims); death (18 percent of claims) or nerve damage (13 percent of claims).

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  • Lawyer 20.01.2015 No Comments

    Tort Reform Increases the Risk of Medical Negligence

    New York is one of just 15 states in which there is no limit on the maximum amount of compensation after an incident of medical malpractice causes damage. However, this does not mean lawmakers have not tried in the past to impose restrictions.

    According to Syracuse.com, for example, Governor Andrew Cuomo proposed imposing a $250,000 limit on the amount of pain and suffering damages. This capped amount is similar to limits in other states such as California. medical stethoscope 2

    A New York medical malpractice lawyer knows proposals to cap damages after incidents of medical negligence are common. Those who believe damages should be capped state  they are in favor of “tort reform,” and argue imposing limits would lower healthcare costs for everyone since doctors would no longer need to pay as much for medical malpractice insurance to cover costly claims. The reality, however, is  malpractice damage caps only serve to prevent those who have been harmed by doctors from getting the money they deserve. Furthermore, as the Huffington Post indicates in a recent article, damage caps can actually make healthcare worse for everyone.

    Damage Caps Can Make Healthcare Worse

    A variety of recent studies have assessed the impact damage caps have on the healthcare field and outcomes for patients. The studies all seem to lead to the conclusion that damage caps are detrimental to patient health without providing the promised benefits. For example:


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  • Lawyer 13.01.2015 No Comments

    Could Trucking Companies Be Required to Buy More Insurance

    The FMCSA’s  proposed rulemaking does not actually propose new minimum levels of insurance coverage that truckers would need to buy. Instead, the FMCSA has asked for responses to 26 different questions related to insurance premium rates; the insufficiency of current information on the minimum coverage requirements; and the impact of increasing minimum coverage.

    The FMCSA is acting because the agency believes that the current limits do not adequately cover the costs of “severe and critical injuries that are common in catastrophic truck crashes.” The Trucking Alliance conducted a study about claim settlements in 9,000 different accidents and discovered that around 42 percent of the settlements were above the current $750,000 threshold. This supports the FMCSA data.

    As the JOC Group, Inc. indicates, the current insurance minimums have also not kept place with inflation. Between 1985 and 2013, the consumer price index rose an 2.8 percent on average. Meanwhile, the insurance minimum coverage limits have not moved upwards at all.

    Since the potential damages are so high, 83 percent of trucking insurance policies are already written to provide for more than minimum coverage. This means many companies won’t even be affected by a change. However, until the FMCSA alters the coverage rules, not all trucking companies will be responsible enough to buy more than the bare minimum. When a victim is involved with a trucking company that has chosen to do the minimum and is thus effectively underinsured, this victim may have added challenges being fully compensated for losses.

    The FMCSA, which is part of the Department of Transportation, is also considering establishing insurance requirements for freight forwards and freight brokers as well as modifying rules regarding self insurance and governing trip insurance.

    Victims of truck collisions will benefit if increases in minimum coverage limits go through, as there will no longer be concern about whether enough money is available to provide full compensation for loss.