MEDICAL MALPRACTICE STATISTICS CAN BE SHOCKING
Whether you’re a doctor or a patient, the “shocking medical malpractice statistics” shown on the website of thehighcourt.co (a company that matches lawyers seeking jobs with potential employers) are, well – shocking, to say the least…
- Malpractice in healthcare is the third leading cause of death in the U.S., right after cancer and heart disease.
- Medical malpractice claim costs in the U.S. have increased by 50% since 2009.
- Between 2009 and 2018, the annual number of medical malpractice cases was more than 12,400.
- Annually, 250.000 deaths happen because of medical errors.
- Up to 73% of patients who have been subject to medical malpractice are directly injured by the error.
- 99% of physicians face at least one lawsuit over the course of their career, and more than 50% have been named in multiple lawsuits.
- Of all medical professionals, surgeons are the most likely to be sued, followed by obstetrics/gynecology and otolaryngology.
- The number of cases going to trial has fallen while the severity has risen.
- Failure to diagnose or delayed diagnoses lead to 33% of lawsuits.
- New York, Florida, and California had the greatest number of malpractice cases.
One particularly interesting statistic is that more than 50% of physicians were surprised when they were sued; another 34% were “somewhat surprised”. When surveyed, many felt that:
- Patients blame physicians for bad outcomes (whether they were the fault of the physician or not)
- Patients don’t understand medical risks.
At the personal injury law firm of Ramey & Haley, we literally see “both sides” of medical malpractice:
Side A: Medical professionals have a duty to provide adequate care for their patients. Malpractice can occur as the result of a wrongful action taken, or when an appropriate action is not taken; a medical condition might be misdiagnosed, not diagnosed at all, treated improperly, or simply left untreated.
Side B: While disciplinary measures against doctors are designed to protect the public, physicians and nurses themselves often need protection as well. Allegations of inappropriate conduct or malpractice can put physicians’ professional license and ability to practice medicine on the line.
Because at Ramey & Hailey Law, our Indiana personal injury attorneys are experienced in dealing with both patients and doctors, we can work to protect both “sides” from unfairness and harm.