According to a new study (abstract and other documents available here) doctor's fear drives the practice of defensive medicine; not reality. In fact, doctors in states with damages caps practiced more defensive medicine. Favorable laws were shown to not affect the way doctors practice at all. One commentator correctly pointed out the following:
* Physicians greatly overestimate the risk of being sued
* Only about one in 50 injuries caused by negligence result in a claim
* Lawsuits are almost never settled for amounts in excess of a physician's insurance policy
* Malpractice plaintiffs lose four out of five trials
The study also pointed out that patients whose care was funded by government sources received more tests suggesting greed has a little bit to do with this, as well. This study represents an important part of the tort reform debate and reaches beyond the heated rhetoric.
For more information on this or any medical malpractice issue, please contact Girards Law Firm at 888-897-2762