Without any intent to disparage the medical profession - which is still dominated by competent, dedicated and caring professionals - the frequency of medical mistakes and negligence in the United States is both surprising and frightening. Examining the statistics regarding medical malpractice and accompanying legal action can help victims better understand that they are not alone and that there is hope for a just and favorable result.
Data compiled by Diederich Healthcare, a prominent national medical malpractice insurance provider, offers some valuable insights regarding medical malpractice claims:
- In 2012, there were a 12,142 medical malpractice claims in the U.S. that resulted in a monetary payout to victims.
- Approximately 45 percent of successful medical malpractice claims involve allegations of negligence during inpatient stays. About 41 percent involve outpatients.
- Florida, New Jersey, California, Pennsylvania and New York lead the nation in medical malpractice payouts. These five states account for 48 percent of successful cases.
- Nearly 31 percent of successful medical malpractice claims involve the death of a patient. Another 12 percent involve patients who became paralyzed or otherwise disabled and require lifelong care. An additional 37 percent involve permanent injuries considered major or significant.
- The most common type of malpractice was failure to diagnose or incorrect diagnoses, accounting for one-third of all successful claims. Another 24 percent were related to surgical error. Another 11 percent were related to birth injuries and obstetrics.
- Consent settlements as opposed to court-imposed judgments accounted for 93 percent of total medical malpractice payouts.
You need support if you believe you or a loved one has been the victim of medical malpractice. An experienced Wisconsin and Illinois medical malpractice lawyer can thoroughly evaluate your case and help you pursue justice.