Malpractice Lawsuit Statistics

Malpractice Lawsuit Statistics

Welcome, your medical malpractice info headquarters. Malpractice lawsuits against health care professionals in the fields of vision, dentistry, and general medicine are “off the charts,” seemingly out of control. At least, that is the public perception, caused, in part, by media reports of jury trials ending in huge awards for Plaintiffs (the former patients of the health care professionals being sued). It is not uncommon to pick up a newspaper and read about a patient who was left scarred, accidentally, by a surgeon winning an award against that surgeon for $50,000,000 or more.

And when a successful medical malpractice lawsuit reaches the front page of a national newspaper, it spurs other “wronged” patients to sue, as well. Are Malpractice Lawsuits an epidemic in America? You have to look at current statistics to find out.

Here are some of the realities regarding Malpractice Lawsuits in the United States …

  • In 1999, one-half of all Malpractice Lawsuits were against Surgeons. Regular doctors and dental professionals were sued, as well, but to a much lesser degree.
  • Plaintiffs (former patients) win Their Lawsuits 75% of the time. The failure rate for former patients and the lawyers that represent them is only 25%. What’s more, the judgments they receive are often in the multi-millions of dollars, a fact that raises the cost of health care for everybody else.
  • 90% of all Lawsuits are brought by former patients who have suffered Permanent Injury. They clearly have a right to sue and to receive a financial award. The question is: how much of an award is enough?
  • Malpractice Lawsuit Statistics33% of all Medical Malpractice Lawsuits are against NonSurgeons … just regular medical doctors. It stands to reason, of course. Surgical mistakes can lead to permanent damage. It is less likely to happen for treatment received by a regular MD.
  • 106,000 Patients die Each Year as a direct result of Medical Malpractice. If that sounds like a high number, it is, but that is how many people never make if off the operating table. Clearly, surviving family members should have the right to sue and to receive compensation.
  • 80,000 Patients Die Each Year as a result of Complications caused by Surgery. Most surgeons and medical personnel are highly rained, skilled and competent, but human. As such, they make mistakes. Unfortunately, in their profession, mistakes can lead to untimely death.
  • 12,000 Patients Suffer Untimely Death Each Year as the result of receiving Unnecessary Surgery. Sadly, many patients are diagnosed incorrectly and subjected to surgery that is not necessary and, in fact, turns out to be harmful … often resulting in their untimely demise. In such cases, Medical Malpractice Lawsuits are not only justified, sizable awards are reasonable, as well.
  • 7,000 Patients Die Each Year as a result of In-Hospital Errors. It’s comforting to believe that a visit to the hospital will be helpful, not dangerous. And for the most part, that is true. Occasionally, however, mistakes by hospital medical personnel turn deadly and result in loss of life. It’s just another reason why there is a need for Medical Malpractice Lawsuits.

Clearly, patients suffer permanent injury or even untimely death at the hands of highly skilled and normally-efficient medical professionals. It’s the reason why there are so many Malpractice Lawsuits. The patients or their surviving family members should have the right to sue for malpractice. The question is now: how much of an award do they deserve to receive?  There is no easy answer.

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