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2023 Medical malpractice statistics

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Medical malpractice occurs when a medical provider fails to provide the degree of care that another provider in the same circumstances with the same credentials would have, resulting in a patient injury. According to the American Medical Association (AMA), one in three clinicians will be sued for medical malpractice during their careers. This means there is a significant risk of being harmed by a medical provider due to their mistakes, whether during a procedure or by their failure to diagnose your illness correctly.

If you were injured due to a medical provider’s negligence, contact the attorneys at The Law Offices of Dr. Michael M. Wilson, M.D., J.D. & Associates. We understand this is a difficult time in your life and want to help hold the provider responsible for your injuries accountable for their mistakes.

How Often Does Medical Malpractice Occur?

According to a study by Johns Hopkins, more than 250,000 deaths every year are due to medical malpractice. This staggering figure makes medical malpractice the third leading cause of death in the United States, behind heart disease and cancer. Five years before the study, approximately 200,000 deaths were related to medical errors. As these numbers continue to grow, so does the need for compassionate, experienced medical malpractice attorneys who can help you navigate the legal process after the errors are discovered.

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Which States Have the Most Reported Cases of Medical Malpractice?

According to the National Practitioner Data Bank, California had the most reported medical malpractice cases, with 2,074 cases. Texas and Florida follow closely behind California with 1,903 and 1,668 cases, respectively. Rounding out the top ten states with the greatest number of cases are Ohio, Michigan, New York, Illinois, Colorado, Louisiana, and Washington.

What Are the Most Common Types of Medical Malpractice?

According to surveys, three of the common types of medical malpractice giving rise to medical malpractice claims are:

  • Misdiagnosis – Misdiagnosis refers to both a failure to diagnose an illness and diagnosing an incorrect illness. This occurs when the provider improperly diagnoses a patient’s symptoms. The wrong diagnosis is typically related to a serious illness. For example, a doctor may dismiss their patient’s symptoms as some minor illness when, in fact, their patient is showing early signs of cancer.
  • Surgical errors Errors during a procedure are a common type of medical malpractice. Mistakes made during surgery can include situations such as operating on the wrong leg or leaving sponges in someone’s abdomen during a procedure. Errors can also occur if the surgeon does not place a medical device properly. These types of mistakes can be devastating to patients, require significant follow-up treatment, and have lifelong effects.
  • Failure to treat – Another type of malpractice often related to an initial misdiagnosis is a doctor’s failure to treat the condition from which their patient is suffering. An example of failure to treat as malpractice could occur if your doctor fails to properly treat you because they did not order the correct tests or if the tests provided incorrect results.

Which Medical Specialty Is More Likely to Be Sued for Medical Malpractice?

In a recent survey, the AMA found that general surgeons and obstetrics/gynecologists (OB/GYNs) are the physicians most often sued. As the jury verdicts suggest, injuries due to the negligence of these physicians result in traumatic, life-altering effects – and the victims should be compensated accordingly.

Are Doctors Who Have Had a Malpractice Claim Against Them More Likely to Have Subsequent Claims?

According to a recent paper published in the Jama Health Forum, physicians with only one paid medical malpractice claim are more likely to pay additional future claims. The data showed that one paid claim nearly quadrupled the likelihood that the doctor will face a paid claim within the next five years, regardless of the doctor’s specialization or whether the prior malpractice was publicly disclosed.

What Are the Top Medical Malpractice Awards for 2023?

Significant jury verdicts have been returned thus far in 2023, with multiple verdicts exceeding $25 million.

  • A Pennsylvania jury awarded a family $183 million in their suit against a hospital after a baby was born with severe brain injuries due to a delayed C-section.
  • In Maryland, a family received $34 million because of brain damage suffered by a baby born via emergency C-section at 32 weeks.
  • $43.5 million was awarded to former NFL Philadelphia Eagle Chris Maragos after he sustained further complications after surgery for a torn PCL.
  • Similar verdicts were rendered in favor of families whose newborn children suffered brain damage related to birth injuries and a man whose leg was amputated below the knee after a leg injury.

Have Some States Made Changes to Their Medical Malpractice Laws?

California, Pennsylvania, and Iowa enacted new medical malpractice laws in 2023.

  • California’s cap for non-economic damages in medical malpractice cases was increased from $250,000 to $350,000, with plans to incrementally increase the cap to $750,000 over the next 10 years.
  • Pennsylvania enacted a law allowing physicians and hospitals to be sued in any county where they do business or have substantial contacts. This is a change from a prior regulation which stated that they could only be sued in the county where the medical treatment was provided.
  • Finally, the Iowa legislature set a cap on non-economic damages at $1 million for independent clinics and $2 million for hospitals.

Contact a Washington, D.C., Medical Malpractice Lawyer

If you or a loved one have experienced an injury due to medical malpractice, contact The Law Offices of Dr. Michael M. Wilson, M.D., J.D. & Associates. Our founding attorney, Michael M. Wilson, has medical and law degrees, uniquely equipping him to handle medical malpractice cases. With over 30 years in practice, we have secured over $100 million for our clients. Our practice is solely devoted to helping victims of medical malpractice. Contact us today for a free case review to learn how we can help. We look forward to speaking with you.

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