What You Need to Know About the Colorado Candor Act
When you go the hospital, or to see your general practitioner, you do so under the assumption that they will take proper care of you, and help you stay healthy. Sadly, this isn’t always the case. Many people find themselves victims of medical malpractice, which leaves them sick or injured, or even costs their life. After such a tragedy, the victim or family may seek compensation, demanding justice from the medical professional who harmed them. Not that long ago, getting compensation in a medical malpractice claim could be difficult, but thanks to the Colorado Candor Act, things have changed.
Before the Candor Act, when a medical professional was found to have acted negligently, whether with a surgical error or a cancer misdiagnosis, were required to report the settlement or verdict to the Colorado medical board. Such a report could cost a medical professional his or her license. This meant most doctors would refuse to settle, even when they knew they were wrong.
The Passing of the Candor Act
Over the years, it became abundantly clear that the old system was failing. Requiring doctors to report their negligence just so that a medical malpractice victim could get a settlement left these victims suffering, unable to get the compensation they deserved. Thus, a new system, one that put victims first, was needed.
Under the Candor Act, medical professionals who have been involved in an “adverse health care incident” are encouraged to engage in honest discussions with their patients about what happened, why it happened, and how it will be fixed moving forward. On top of that, medical professionals can also offer compensation to patients without having to report it to the medical board, encouraging medical professionals to offer proper compensation quickly.
What It Means for You
Before the Candor Act, if you suffered medical malpractice, then odds were that you would have to go to court before the hospital would agree to a number. While going to court does not mean that you won’t get the compensation you are owed (in fact, with a skilled attorney, chances are high that you will), it does mean that you have to wait an extended period of time for a resolution. That extra time allows medical bills to pile up, and with no compensation for months to years, you may be left unable to pay them. Essentially, time costs money, and the person losing the most time would be you.
With the Candor Act, you can now settle quickly and easily. This means you won’t have to worry about your ills while your claim sits in court for months or even years. However, That does not mean that it is a perfect system. In fact, the Candor Act is incredibly flawed.
“Adverse health care incidents,” a technical euphemism for what are essentially mistakes made by healthcare providers, are never acceptable, even when patients are free to have a conversation about them with their doctors. While in some cases the Candor Act may allow you to make a fair and timely recovery without litigation, that does not mean this is a process you should attempt alone. Just because a medical professional is now able to settle quickly does not mean she will, or that a patient will be offered sufficient compensation to fix the problem. It isn’t the medical professional who is personally handing over compensation — it’s her malpractice insurance company, or the hospital and its insurance company. Insurance companies go out of their way to pay as little as possible. The less money they give you, the more they get to keep for their shareholders.
Recovering Compensation with the Candor Act
While the Candor Act does hold some benefit for patients, it can also trick victims of medical malpractice into taking less compensation than they should. That is why you should always work with an experienced medical malpractice attorney who can protect your rights and advocate on your behalf. To speak with our top-notch team at Leventhal Puga Braley P.C., call (303) 759-9945 or toll-free (877) 433-3906. We are ready to help.