Tort law, the branch of the law addressing civil harms that one person causes someone else, has a negative reputation due to concerns that people will file frivolous lawsuits. It’s important to note that lawsuits are sometimes the only way that people have to make sure their rights are protected. However, most people never receive a malpractice settlement because they never sue. If you’re a Virginia resident, here are a few things you should know if you’re thinking about bringing your case to court.
How common is malpractice?
Several malpractice studies, including a major study published in the New England Journal of Medicine, have found that medical errors are pretty common, but medical malpractice litigation is rare. The malpractice system in the U.S. can be frustrating since the process works slowly and can be expensive. The average claim featured in the study took five years to complete, and more than half of the compensation, 54%, went to administrative expenses such as paying expert witnesses and attorneys.
Malpractice cases that don’t go to court
Some malpractice cases don’t make it to court, but victims may be able to receive a reasonable settlement if they decide to settle out of court. However, this still requires bringing the case to the appropriate legal authorities.
For complicated cases, filing a lawsuit might be the best way to get hospitals and physicians to reveal information that will prove whether malpractice occurred. Without the formal process of litigation, medical facilities might not share details about a potential medical error. Victims of medical malpractice who want to protect their rights and pursue compensation for a doctor’s costly mistake may be able to find recourse through a lawsuit.