Every year in the United States, 10 percent of all deaths are attributed to medical mistakes. That’s one in 10 deaths. These mistakes can be due to poor performance, lack of management, or low coordination.
If you or someone you love has been a victim of medical malpractice, knowing that might comfort you. After all, at least you’re not alone. However, it probably also horrifies you to know that people you trust with your health and your life – supposed experts – can be prone to so many errors.
Well, that statistic is just the beginning. Most people simply don’t realize how bad the problem is, and it’s time that everyone opened their eyes to the issue. That’s why we’re using this post to present the actual numbers associated with medical errors.
The more people who understand the extent of the problem, the more likely it is that systemic change will occur.
Top 10 States with the Highest Filing Rates in 2015
Some states have higher rates of malpractice lawsuits than others. Simply put, doctors in those states are more likely to face lawsuits.
Two companies conducted research of all fifty states, and compiled lists of the frequency of malpractice suits and the total payouts per state. Here is a sample of their results, based on the most recent year for which data is available.
44.1 malpractice suits per 100,000 residents
36.3 malpractice suits per 100,000 residents
35.2 malpractice suits per 100,000 residents
34 malpractice suits per 100,000 residents
33 malpractice suits per 100,000 residents
32.2 malpractice suits per 100,000 residents
- New Jersey
30.4 malpractice suits per 100,000 residents
30.2 malpractice suits per 100,000 residents
- West Virginia
29.6 malpractice suits per 100,000 residents
29.5 malpractice suits per 100,000 residents
You might notice that New York is not on there. That seems like a good thing, but is it really? Or are errors simply going unreported in our state. More numbers complicate the picture further…
Top 10 Total Payouts Per State in 2015
- New York
$711.7 million total payout
$374 million total payout
$263.8 million total payout
- New Jersey
$256.3 million total payout
$258.2 million total payout
$248.9 million total payout
$205 million total payout
$111.5 million total payout
$108.6 million total payout
$88.7 million total payout
From no show to number one, New York can boast that our state has the highest medical malpractice payouts in the country. If you get hurt due to medical negligence here, you’ll be well compensated. At least that’s what it seems to say…
More Things You Should Know about Medical Malpractice
In the 10-year span between 2006 and 2016, the top four states where medical malpractice occurred were California first, then Texas, Florida, and New York. These states had nearly 129,749 physicians in medical practice, and 53,301 of these physicians had to pay damages in medical malpractice cases. Just over 17,000 of these physicians were required by the courts to be reinstated.
Even beyond these numbers, medical malpractice in hospitals is believed to be vastly underreported. A 2011 report states that one percent of hospital patients die in hospitals. This equals about 400,000 hospital deaths every year in the United States.
What do all these numbers mean when you put them together?
A lot of people are getting hurt in New York due to medical errors. A lot of our doctors are getting sued. Payouts are large when that happens… but there are still probably many, many people out there who have gotten injured but don’t file a lawsuit.
If we want to have any hope of making the system better and improving healthcare overall, this needs to stop. People have to stop paying for the mistakes of others – even if those others are medical professionals they liked and trusted.
How Medical Malpractice Lawsuits Work
Of course, you can’t just sue a doctor because you’re unhappy with the outcome of their care. A successful medical malpractice lawsuit must be due to negligence.
This can be from mistakes in diagnoses, lack of coordinated care between staff members, equipment failure, preventable complications, or lapses in skill or judgment. In short, if a medical agent failed to perform to the reasonable standard, a lawsuit can be viable.
To help you receive damages in a medical malpractice lawsuit, a personal injury lawyer must prove four things to be true:
- The medical agent had a duty to perform medical care.
- The medical agent breached the reasonable standard of duty.
- The breach in duty caused injury to the plaintiff.
- The plaintiff suffered harm from the injury.
Not surprisingly, medical malpractice lawsuits can be difficult to win. You need an experienced attorney who knows how these types of cases work and isn’t afraid to fight back against big insurance companies and medical organizations with deep pockets. To learn how we can help, get in touch today for a free case review.