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    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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    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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  • Car Accident Lawyers 21.03.2012 Comments Off on Fair Labor Standards Act Effects Drug Makers 2012 March

    Another batch of sales reps has sued Novo Nordisk ($NVO) for overtime. The would-be class action suit, which was filed by two reps, is seeking $70 million in overtime pay. Like so many other lawsuits–pending and otherwise–this one alleges a drugmaker misclassified its reps as exempt salaried workers when they should have been eligible for overtime.

    As Reuters reports, it’s actually the second overtime suit lodged against the Danish drugmaker. A California firm sued Novo on behalf of one group of reps last summer. This time, it’s a New York firm–Sanford Wittels & Heisler–that’s been involved in several other pharma overtime actions. See: paralysis injury lawyer in Fort Worth

    The new lawsuit comes at a time when the U.S. Supreme Court is preparing to hear arguments in another overtime case. After different appeals courts came up with differing interpretations of the Fair Labor Standards Act–and how it applies to pharma reps–the Supreme Court agreed to consider an appeal in GlaxoSmithKline’s ($GSK) overtime case. Former GSK reps ended up on the wrong side of a Circuit Court ruling–in the Ninth Circuit, which has tended to side with the companies–and the Supremes took up the case.

    A host of leading drugmakers have been sued by their reps for back overtime pay. Some companies have prevailed–Bayer, Roche ($RHHBY) and Wyeth, PM Live points out–but others, including Novartis ($NVS), face payouts in the tens of millions. If the Supreme Court contradicts the Ninth Circuit’s ruling, more reps with overtime complaints are likely to turn up in court.

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