Medical Malpractice Statistics For 2021
After your doctor made a grave mistake that was due to their own neglectful actions, this is considered medical malpractice. This is especially the case if you suffered from damages that caused you great harm.
Medical malpractice is rampant in the healthcare industry and continues to be a frequent problem for unsuspecting patients. Claims can be held against just about any healthcare worker, including physicians, nurses, pharmacists, psychologists, nurse practitioners, optometrists, dentists, occupational and physical therapists, and more.
Sometimes it’s the nursing assistant and not the doctor who caused you harm. Every year, there are 15,000 to 19,000 medical malpractice lawsuits against doctors.
According to the Law Firm of Rosenberg, Minc, Falkoff & Wolff, you should use your medical bills and other damages as proof that you are not at fault for your injuries. Here are some interesting statistics about medical malpractice that can help inform you about what is going on today:
What Are Common Medical Malpractice Incidents?
Medical malpractice can happen in many ways and can be spread across just about every aspect of the healthcare treatment you receive. The main categories include failure to diagnose, improper treatment, surgery, and adverse drug events.
About 33% of claims filed against attorneys include the failure to diagnose. The next most frequent medical malpractice claim are those dealing with surgery, including 24% of claims filed. The improper treatment makes up 14% of claims, and 9% are due to adverse drug events.
Other frequent ways that patients experience medical malpractice include obstetrics, anesthesia errors, premature discharge, and the patient environment. These all make up around 3% to 4% of the total causes of a medical malpractice claim.
Related Resource: Can You Sue A Dentist For Medical Malpractice?
How Much Can I Expect To Get In My Settlement?
Medical malpractice claim is dropping over time; however, they are still a frequent occurrence in the healthcare industry. The total number of paid medical malpractice claim in the US average up to $4 billion. The average amount of claims that is $500,000 or less has gone up.
New York happens to have the highest average annual per-capita medical malpractice cost compared to other states. About $36 was made in a medical malpractice claim per year for every individual living in New York.
In comparison, only $3 was paid per individual in Wisconsin. New York medical malpractice claim also went above $500,000, while in some states, the amount was capped at $500,000 or $1 million.
Which Specialty Is More Likely To Get Sued?
According to research, plastic surgery is the most commonly sued practice in the medical field. This information is based on a survey of 4,358 physicians across 29 specialties. Based on the survey, 83% of physicians named in malpractice lawsuits were in plastic surgery and another 83% for general surgery.
Next was orthopedics at 81% and urology at 80%. Following that are OB-GYN practitioners at 79%, specialized surgery at 74%, and 70% for emergency medicine. Otolaryngology had 68% of its physicians named in malpractice lawsuits, and following that was 64% for radiology and 58% for cardiology.
According to this survey, the most frequent reason for these malpractice lawsuits was the failure to diagnose and delayed diagnosis. The next most common reason was complications caused by the surgery or treatment received.
Poor outcomes and disease progression were the next most frequent reason for malpractice lawsuits. Less frequent malpractice cases included the failure to treat and delayed treatment.
Wrongful death sits in the middle, being the median between the most common and least common lawsuits. Patients who suffered an abnormal injury were around the same frequency as wrongful deaths.
The most infrequent causes of a malpractice lawsuit included poor documentation of patient education and instruction, medication errors, lack of informed consent or not properly obtaining it, and the failure to follow safety procedures.
According to a Medscape research survey, the state with the most malpractice lawsuits was Indiana, with New York being tied with Pennsylvania in second place.
What Were The Outcomes Of Malpractice Lawsuit Cases?
According to this Medscape survey, 33% of malpractice lawsuits were settled before the trial. Around 13% were dismissed by the physicians within the initial few months. Around 10% resulted in the judge or jury creating a verdict in favor of the physician.
Another 8% made up lawsuits dismissed by the physicians before settling. There were a few ongoing cases that made up 7% of the lawsuits in this survey.
The court dismissed 6% of the lawsuits, another 6% made up of physicians who were dismissed before trial, and 6% resulted in the physicians being voluntarily dismissed by the plaintiff before the trial. Around 2% of the lawsuits were settled at the trial, and another 2% resulted in the judge or jury enforcing a verdict in favor of the plaintiff.
How Do I Show I’m Not At Fault And My Healthcare Practitioner Is?
You will need to work with a medical malpractice attorney who can prove that the other party was negligent in some way. Without their help, you are potentially going up against an organization and their insurance company, both of which have far more experience in malpractice claims than you do.
They may even try to get you to settle for less than what you deserve. However, with the support of a medical malpractice lawyer, you can be provided with representation.
Attorneys are strong negotiators who can work with the other parties to get a settlement that is fair. The damages you suffered because of the other party’s neglect shouldn’t go ignored.
It is also a lesson for your healthcare practitioner to do a better job taking care of your patients. Justice has to be served, and this can only be done with the help of your attorney.
It is better to settle outside of court; however, if necessary, your attorney can take your case to a judge or jury. They will represent your case and allow the judge to decide how much you are owed in compensation.
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