Medical malpractice takes the lives of approximately 100,000 individuals every year. That is 100,000 opportunities to learn and teach. The best way to reduce future medical malpractice is to learn about past errors with an eye toward improving future care. Doctors and hospitals are starting to learn from their mistakes, and integrating information from lawsuits into patient safety efforts.
In addition lawsuits can reveal previously unreported incidents of medical malpractice. A case comes to mind where I represented the family of a man who died from complications of a hemorrhagic stroke. The patient never should have died. He died because a neurologist gave him an anti-coagulant (Heparin), that was of no benefit, and carries a great risk of bleeding complications . The doctor was defiant in his deposition, that it was within the standard of care to administer the heparin. The experts and medical literature said otherwise. We can only hope that the doctor learns from his mistake and reads the medical literature and the depositions of the doctors who were critical of his care.