Every year an astonishing 440,000 patients die because of preventable medical
errors. In fact, medical errors are so prevalent that they have become
the third leading cause of death in the United States. Yet the government
does very little to prevent these deadly errors, largely because corporate
front groups work diligently on Capitol Hill to limit accountability for
Luckily, the civil justice system exists to help families of patients who
have died seek justice and hold those negligent doctors, nurses, and health
care professionals accountable for their mistakes. Litigation and the
threat of litigation also serves another valuable purpose—to provide
health care providers with the incentives they need to improve patient care-
before more people are killed.
The medical malpractice tort system influences hospitals, nurses, and physicians
to improve the standards by which they practice, thus improving patient
care. Safety checks and protocols are essential to protecting patients
in hospitals and clinics, and these policies often come about as a result
of malpractice claims.
On March 22, 2012, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the “Help
Efficient, Accessible, Low Cost, Timely, Health Care (HEALTH) Act of 2011″.
This bill seeks to impose a cap on damages for medical negligence, defective
drugs, medical devices, and nursing home abuse. It deliberately protects
the health care providers from accountability and prevents injured patients
and their families from receiving the help they need to put their lives
Medical Errors - Just the Facts
How bad are medical errors in this country? So bad that one in three patients
who are admitted to a hospital will experience some form of medical error.
This can include receiving the wrong drug, the wrong amount of drug, the
wrong surgery, or even the wrong identification bracelet.
“Never Events”, errors that should never happen in hospitals
and medical institutions, actually occur at an alarming rate of up to
40x a week across the country. These medical errors and others like them
cost our country tens of billions of dollars each and every year.
Many Americans erroneously believe that the vast majority medical malpractice
lawsuits are frivolous, yet medical negligence cases represent just 2%
of all civil cases and 97% are appropriate.