Our medical malpractice system is deeply flawed. Insurance companies force the expenses up on victims of malpractice before even considering settlement.
Our client was in the emergency room with an appendicitis. The ER doctor sent him upstairs for a CT scan to confirm her suspicions. A radiologist misread the CT scan and incorrectly reported that there was "NOTHING ON THE CT SCAN TO EXPLAIN THE PATIENT'S SYMPTOMS." Our client was sent home where his appendix ruptured. The next day he returned to the hospital with worse symptoms. A new doctor took another look at the CT scan from the evening before and immediately saw the developing appendicitis that the first radiologist failed to see.
Our client was taken to surgery where the surgeon tried to perform the appendectomy by a laparoscopic procedure that would be faster to heal with fewer complications. Due to the delay in the diagnosis and surgery caused by the first radiologist, the operation had to be converted to an open procedure with a major incision, extended hospitalization and severe scarring.
Was this a clear cut case of medical negligence? Absolutely. Was any effort made by the doctor's insurance company to settle this case until just before trial. Absolutely not. In fact, at the time of the doctor's deposition, the doctor testified that although she was told by her superior at the hospital that she "blew it," she never took the time to take another look at the CT scan to find out what she missed, or learn how she failed to see the appendicitis and perhaps learn something so that she does not make that same mistake again. We learned that her medical group and insurance company had a policy to keep their doctors from looking at a CT scan, X-ray or MRI after making a mistake. That way, they are unable to admit that they made a medical error when giving deposition testimony.
This doctor and her attorneys and insurance company continued to deny any negligence until the very end; until after they had forced the injured victim to spend nearly $40,000.00 to prove the doctor's negligence. This does not include any attorneys fees. This also does not take into account the tens of thousands of dollars the insurance company spent on its own experts and attorneys in setting forth meritless defenses.
In the field of medical malpractice, insurance companies prefer to make the claims process as expensive as possible, and force innocent victims of medical negligence to unnecessarily spend large sums of money to overcome meritless defenses. In what world can this be considered fair, reasonable or honest? Only in the world of medical malpractice defense does this make any sense. Bleed the victim and his or her lawyer, make the process unprofitable for the victim's attorney and discourage people from pursing claims against doctors and their insurance companies.
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