According to the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), medical malpractice is the third leading cause of death in the United States—right behind heart disease and cancer.  In fact, it is estimated that medical errors kill roughly 200,000 patients in the U.S. each year.  In 2012, over $3 billion was spent in medical malpractice payouts, averaging one payout every 43 minutes.  Between 15,000 and 19,000 malpractice suits are brought against doctors each year with over 70% of physicians being named in a medical malpractice suit at some point in his or her career.  Fortunately, 93% of all medical malpractice cases are resolved before trial and, with the right counsel in charge of the defense, physicians often win medical malpractice suits at trial. 

The most common reason for bringing a medical malpractice claim is a physician fails to meet the “standard of care” provided by other doctors under similar circumstances. However, there are others: failure or delay in diagnosing a patient’s condition, misreading X-rays, prescribing the wrong pharmaceuticals, anesthesia errors, surgical errors, failing to warn a patient of the risks or side effects of a procedure and performing services without the patient’s informed consent. 

Ericksen Arburthnot’s healthcare practice group focuses on healthcare providers and institutions, including malpractice defense, peer review, employment issues, and disciplinary actions brought against the license of a healthcare providers.  Our healthcare clients include doctors, nurses, midwives, dentists, podiatrists, pathologists, radiology technicians, paramedics, psychiatrists, psychologists, counselors, eating disorder clinics, troubled teen clinics, skilled nursing facilities and assisted living facilities. 

Lawsuits filed against mental health professionals are also on the rise with the practitioners held to the same or similar standards of physicians as they apply to the care and treatment of their patients. Claims often arise when there is a perceived failure of the practitioner to warn when a patient threatens harm to another person or where there are alleged violations of the practitioner/patient confidentiality.  In addition, there are claims regarding the prescription of psychotropic drugs by psychiatrists for the treatment of mental illnesses, including, but not limited to, schizophrenia, depression and bipolar disorder with issues related to consent and potential side effects.   

Our attorneys regularly provide seminars to our clients related to pre-litigation risk management, the Medical Injury Compensation Reform Act (MICRA), and on how “to win” your deposition.   Additionally, our attorneys are well-versed in the Medicare Secondary Payer Act and other issues related to medical liens.   

No healthcare professional wants to be sued or face disciplinary action; our attorneys are committed to returning you to your practice as quickly as possible and preserving your integrity throughout the process.