Res Ispa Loquitor

  1. I would like to know....

    In a medical malpractice case involving the principle of res ipsa loquitor where the evidence of negligence speaks for itself, I would like to know how often are these cases settled out of court?

    When it's less about monetary losses (which are very real) and more about forcing accountability and change so that the chances of something similar happening to someone else in the future doesn't occur, how often does change or accountability actually take place?

    Is it wise to settle these types of cases out of court? I could see that one reason to settle is to minimize attorney and case costs. But would a day in court lead more to a possibility of admission of fault and accountability?

    When the result of the negligence involved in a case is death, do the caps that many states have on non-economic damages still apply or does a case become a wrongful death case? Do wrongful death cases involve caps on non-economic damages? Wrongful death and medical malpractice are two different things right?

    Thanks in advance for any insight.
    Last edit by begalli on Mar 12, '05
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    About begalli

    Joined: Aug '04; Posts: 1,298; Likes: 72
    Specialty: Critical Care/ICU


  3. by   Havin' A Party!
    Lots of questions there. Many answers may involve facts and state-specific issues, policies, reg's, etc.

    My gut tells me the greater majority of res ipsa cases are settled. Of course, if the demands of the plaintiff are excessive, then it might not be.

    Cases involving minor losses are great learning tools for the negligent parties and I'd imagine can lead to significant improvements in safeguards, responsibility, etc.

    Think the balance of your message falls into the categories described in my opening paragraph.
  4. by   begalli
    Thanks LarryG.

    Yes, as you can see my mind was racing a millions thoughts a moment. Hence all the questions.

    Difficult situation.