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Medical Malpractice Claims in Wisconsin down 40%

By Eric M. Knobloch • Dec 11th, 2009 • Category: Civil Litigation, Newest Post, Personal Injury Law

A recent Milwaukee Business Journal article did a fantastic job of shedding light on a very statistic laden discussion of Medical Malpractice trends in the State of Wisconsin.  Since 2002, medical malpractice claims in Wisconsin are down about 40%.  The article cites to many reasons for the decline, such as: the cost of litigation, jury verdicts trends and the $750,000 cap on damages.  A more interesting discussion is the manner in which the cases are being defended, which is mentioned in the article but not explained.

A plaintiff’s attorney accepting any malpractice case must be prepared to outlay upwards of $50,000 in costs to see the case to trial.  This, along with countless attorneys’ hours, is the true price of bringing a claim that, statictically speaking, juries dont like.  Defendant doctors, or more accurately, their insurers, typically do not negotiate settlements until the eve of trial, if ever.  This means the plaintiffs’ must endure the cost of hiring expert after expert and be prepared to bring that expert into to court.  Together, these factors make the “minor” medical malpractice claims impracticable to pursue, and the major cases a huge risk for the Firm.  In larger, complex cases, the $750,000 cap can work towards making a claim financially unfeasible for the attorney and client if the price tag of experts becomes too costly.

Attorneys “dabbling” in plaintiffs medical malpractice should be very leary of these realities when screening potential new cases.  The Warshafsky Law Firm employs a full-time M.D./J.D to do medical malpractice new case screenings and reviews.  Unfortunately, having a Doctor or Nurse on staff has almost become a necessity to practice plaintiffs medical malpractice given the tough litigation climate.

The scary aspect for consumers is that claims are down in Wisconsin likely because of litigation truths, not because Wisconsin residents have enjoyed an increased standard of care from physicians and hospitals.

Eric M. Knobloch is a Personal Injury Attorney with the Warshafsky Law Firm. Eric specializes in auto accidents, civil rights violations and premises liability. Eric can be reached by: Phone: 414-276-4970 E-mail: [email protected] Website: www.warshafsky.com Fax: 414-276-5533 Address: 839 N. Jefferson Street, Suite 300 Milwaukee, Wisconsin 53202
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