Primum non nocere, the Latin phrase meaning “First, do no harm,” is one of the principal precepts taught in medical schools. It reminds doctors to consider the possible harm that any medical intervention might do. But precepts alone can’t protect us when a doctor or other medical care provider deviates from accepted standards of practice and causes harm to a patient.
It happens more often than you might think. Preventable medical errors currently account for an average of 195,000 hospital deaths each year. Far from being a scourge on the medical profession, malpractice claims can actually help the medical community identify areas in need of improvement and repeat offenders who may require disciplinary action. Yet fewer than 1 in 5 injured patients with a legitimate case ever file a malpractice claim.
Need to know if you have a case? You’ll find expert help at Cook Noell Tolley & Bates LLP.