The push for tort reform would make anyone believe that doctors are losing the battle in the courtroom. One would think that if a doctor is sued for medical malpractice the patient is coming out a winner and the doctor’s practice is over. The truth, however, is far from what those pushing tort reform want the public to believe. A recent study showed that the reality is that jurors are more likely to side with doctors, not patients.
Philip Peters, a legal professor at the University of Missouri-Columbia’s School of Law, recently uncovered in a study that the defendant doctors are the ones persuading the jurors more often than not. In fact, when the jury is unsure the benefit of the doubt usually goes to the doctor, not the patient.
This study would tend to prove that the doctors that are being sued for malpractice and losing their lawsuits are likely guilty of the malpractice, and if it’s the doctor’s fault then the doctor should pay. The idea of medical malpractice caps is to curb awards because those pushing tort reform say there are too many outrageous awards and frivolous lawsuits. This study shows that the lawsuits that are being lost by doctors are not frivolous, and the patients should be able to recover what they deserve. If medical malpractice insurance premiums are on the rise because of large awards to victims, then it’s the doctors own fault. Maybe the tort reformers need to take a look inside at themselves and the mistakes in the operating rooms that they are making.