Research confirms what most medical malpractice attorneys have experienced for many years — the deck is stacked in favor of doctors in medical malpractice lawsuits.
A study published in Clinical Orthopaedics and Related Research examined 20 years of medical malpractice cases and found that the doctor most often wins. Researchers compared lawsuit outcomes to outcomes predicted by physician reviewers. Remarkably, they found that physicians win 50 percent of the cases that independent reviewers said had strong evidence of medical malpractice. In other words, they win 50 percent of the cases that they should lose.
This high success rate, according to the study, suggests that more is at play than just the evidence: “Juries may be skeptical of patients who sue their doctors” and “juries tend to give doctors the benefit of the doubt when experts for both sides are credible.” In addition, the study suggests that the defendants are much more likely than plaintiffs to hire experienced attorneys. Obviously, these factors make it difficult for malpractice plaintiffs to win even the strongest of cases.