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According to the wealth of current research by those who make it their business to grade the healthcare industry, approximately 200,000 people die annually in hospitals alone as a result of medical mistakes. This does not even include negligence in medical office settings and elsewhere outside of hospitals. This is almost 5 times the number of people who die in automobile accidents (approximately 43,000). In fact, it’s more than those dying in automobile accidents, in workplace accidents, of AIDS, of breast cancer and in the Vietnam War COMBINED.
In fact, the number of deaths from medical negligence, in hospitals alone, is the equivalent of two jumbo jets full of passengers colliding in mid-air each day of the year. The hard economic cost of medical negligence exceeds $ 60 Billion, including lost income, disability, loss of household services, and health care expenses. Not included in this $ 60 Billion is the economic loss to those medical malpractice victims who survive, and the pain and suffering, disfigurement, and loss of enjoyment of life of medical malpractice victims.
But rather than address the obvious deficiencies in the quality of medical services delivered in America, legislatures have chosen to restrict the rights of patients to sue or the money damages they can recover when they find themselves victims of medical negligence. Nothing has been done to determine the cause of this abysmal failure in the delivery of competent and quality health care, and the epidemic has continued, leaving in its wake innocent patients with limited rights of recovering compensation for their losses. Indeed, the idea that denying a patient’s right to legal recourse will somehow reduce the incidence of medical negligence lacks logic and common sense.
Recent tort reform legislation in Florida make an attorney’s job in obtaining recovery for medical negligence victims legally and economically impractical in many, many meritorious cases while doing nothing to improve the quality of care delivered or to reduce the incidence of medical negligence.