Although medical technology and innovation have made tremendous achievements in the 21st century, medical malpractice remains a pressing issue for nearly any medical professional. According to a recent article by Anne L. Finger, medical malpractice claims are declining, but lawsuits against doctors are still a problem in the medical industry. Finger cites a number of statistics to show where medical malpractice stands today:
- In 2012, medical malpractice claims totaled $3.6 billion
- Average payouts for medical malpractice claims have been on the rise. From 2007-2011, the average payout was $343,038.
- From 2003 to 2012, ob/gyns reported the highest number of paid claims.
- A total of 65% of medical malpractice claims are dropped, dismissed, or withdrawn.
- 24% of all medical malpractice cases result in settlement.
- 7% of medical malpractice cases are resolved by verdict.
- In cases that result in verdict, defendants are favored 88% of the time.
As a result of numerous medical malpractice claims, states across the nation have passed a number of complex laws. Some of these laws can be argued to be in favor of the medical industry, including damages caps and statutes of limitations.
Although the article goes on to discuss trends and the future of the medical field, as well as ways doctors can protect themselves from claims, it’s important to consider what these statistics say about medical malpractice. Generally, they highlight the fact that there is – and always will be – a need for recourse for patients who suffer harm as a result of medical negligence. Although many complex issues are involved, a safe assessment would be that doctors and other medical professionals can, do, and will likely in the future continue to cause preventable harm to patients.
At The Law Offices of Dr. Michael M. Wilson M.D., J.D. & Associates, our Washington, DC medical malpractice attorneys represent victims and families who have suffered losses as a result of medical malpractice. Although this may be a complicated and controversial practice area at times, there is certainly a need for experienced advocates who can protect the rights of patients when they’ve been harmed through no fault of their own.
Our attorneys take the time to speak personally with victims who reach out to our firm, and we provide free consultations to help them learn more about their rights, whether they have a legitimate medical malpractice claim, and how we can be of assistance. If you would like to discuss your case with a lawyer from our firm, call 202.223.4488 to request your free consultation.
Dr. Michael M. Wilson is an attorney and a physician who earned his undergraduate degree from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and his legal and medical degrees from Georgetown University. He has focused in the area of medical malpractice for more than three decades and secured more than $100 million in settlements and verdicts on behalf of clients throughout the country. He is admitted to practice in the District of Columbia and New York as well as the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia and the U.S. Supreme Court. He is listed in America’s Top 100 High Stakes Litigators.