It is no secret that hospitals, although often not for profit, are in the business of making money by providing medical care. It is seemingly a simple exchange until something goes wrong.
According to Johns Hopkins Medicine, and based on its collected data, medical malpractice is the third leading cause of death in the United States. One logical inference from that statistic is that you are more likely to die from the medical treatment at any given facility than you are for the actual condition you are there for. This is not to suggest there is any malice or intent on behalf of these providers but the statistics speak for themselves.
With this rise in medical malpractice and potential for litigation, the medical entities, as well as their insurers, have developed Communication and Resolution Programs that are intended to inform the patients of errors and allow the medical providers to learn from the mistakes while they provide redress for the harm. Most importantly to them, it also allows healthcare entities and insurers to manage risk. With a Communication and Resolution Program in place, the healthcare provider can meet with a patient, apologize for the mistake and even offer compensation for a wrong committed.
One looming question would be, “should I engage in a Communication and Resolution Program following an adverse medical care event?”
There is no easy answer to this but we would encourage you to have legal representation throughout the process. There are no set rules, no set guidelines and no set regulations that prohibit you from having counsel. In fact, the insurance company will most likely have many layers of corporate personnel and retained counsel on their side.
It’s not wise to go it alone.
Is any potential resolution final and binding? Will all your future medical expenses be covered? What happens if have missed work or cannot return to work? You will not be assigned an advocate during a Communication and Resolution Programs but you have the right to have an experienced attorney on your side.
At Washington Law Center we can help you through a medical malpractice lawsuit. If a medical facility has asked you to engage in a Communication and Resolution Programs, please give us a call for a free consultation.
Ashton Dennis is a litigation and trial attorney at Washington Law Center who specializes in serious personal injury and medical malpractice cases. He has been named one of the “Top 40 Under 40” by the National Trial Lawyers of Washington State and one of the “Premier 100” trial attorneys by the American Academy of Trial Lawyers in Washington. Click here to learn more about Ashton.