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Shapiro & Appleton

Maine Medical Malpractice Claims Drop: State Laws Discourage Legitimate Claims

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Not unlike the lighthouses that guard the state of Maine’s rocky shores, medical malpractice lawyers are a stalwart beacon that offer hope to those that are in distress.  Recently the company that insures most Maine doctors and hospitals against medical malpractice reported that claims have dropped by more than half over the past decade.  The company cites improved care and communication with patients as the main reason for this decline.  But, there are two sides to every story.  One of the state's most experienced medical malpractice lawyers argues that Maine law favors doctors over patients, discouraging even legitimate claims.

This bias towards victims of medical malpractice isn’t confined to Maine.  Victims of medical malpractice in Virginia (VA), North Carolina (NC) and many other states find that pursuing a claim can be costly and difficult. They involve complex medical issues, require expensive expert witnesses, are subject to the pre-litigation screening panel system and are fiercely defended by the states most skilled and experienced defense attorneys.

While these obstacles to recovery are all real, they can be overcome with careful analysis at intake and the use of a sophisticated approach to case development and trial presentation.  One such case our firm handled involved a jury award for a child birth injury of $2.3 million and $60,000 to the mother for reimbursement of medical expenses.  Our attorney, Jim Lewis, fought hard to get as much compensation as possible since this child's life will be changed forever due to the injury.

There are many types of medical malpractice and most times it is not as cut and dry as a surgeon leaving a piece of equipment inside a patient.  Surgical mistakes can include anesthesia mistakes, improper sterilization, technical errors, nerve damage, unnecessary surgery, surgery on the wrong part of the body and organ puncture as well. 

Before surgery is even performed some patients fall victim to improper diagnosis and misdiagnosis  include misread x-rays, misread test results, failure to order common diagnostic tests, and ignored or missed symptoms. Commonly missed diagnoses include heart attacks, cancer, hypertension, clogged arteries, and infections. These are just a few examples of medical malpractice. 

Recent studies have shown that preventable errors contribute to the deaths of 210,000 hospital patients annually.  Our firm publishes a free medical malpractice injury guide to help victims learn more about their rights.

CT

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