When a health care provider or medical facility in Cleveland settles a medical malpractice claim, or pays a trial verdict, the money has a specific purpose: to put the plaintiff in the same financial position, as much as possible, as he or she was before the allegedly negligent care. The funds are not supposed to be spent by relatives or caregivers for their personal pleasure.
Imagine running a company. Suddenly, you're made aware that one of your workers got hurt on the job. Clearly, that worker should get workers' compensation to cover his or her medical care, but the accident wasn't caused by negligence or safety issues, so you think it's been taken care of. If you find your business being investigated or the worker dragging out the illness when he or she should have quickly recovered, there may be a reason to suspect fraud.
Many times when someone is badly hurt, figuring out who is responsible is not so easy. Sometimes, the accused party is 100 percent responsible, but other times, things are not so black and white. The plaintiff may have acted with negligence and contributed to his or her own injuries, a legal concept known as contributory negligence.
Read enough news stories about medical malpractice lawsuits, and you might get the impression that the U.S. medical system is infested with thousands of bad doctors who harm their patients all the time. The truth is, the vast majority of physicians and other medical professionals are very good at their jobs. They are highly skilled, keep up on the latest innovations and care deeply about their patients.