According to information revealed in a recent investigation by Channel 9 in Charlotte, mistakes at hospitals occur far more regularly than the general public is aware. When these mistakes happen, health care systems pay up to millions of dollars for “confidentiality agreements” to keep them secret, and prohibit patients from exposing their wrongdoing.
Unfortunately, these cases tend to be difficult to fight in court because of those confidentiality agreements. In the vast majority of cases, hospitals offer large settlements in exchange for secrecy.
Health care providers were afforded additional protection after an overhaul of medical malpractice laws in North Carolina in 2011. Not only did the new laws ad caps for payouts in non-economic damages ($500,000 max for damages like pain and suffering), but they also made it significantly more difficult for patients to file medical malpractice suits when there is no death or near-death experience.
Some state senators have already been discussing amending the medical malpractice laws again, saying that they are unfair to the average patient. In states like California, Florida and South Carolina, legislators have already put limits on the ability of health care organizations to create these confidentiality agreements. Other states have removed non-economic damage caps altogether.
It certainly seems as though there will be some proposed changes on the horizon once again to medical malpractice laws in the state. In the meantime, though, it’s important for patients to be aware of the prevalence of mistakes that hospitals work to cover up.
If you have been injured due to medical malpractice in North Carolina, contact an attorney from Lanier Law Group immediately.