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These Medical Malpractice Statistics Help Put Lawsuits in Perspective

By Steve Charpentier on July 10, 2015

A stethoscope on a sheet of paper with graphsHere at the Charpentier Law Firm, we have helped countless injury victims and their loved ones in and around the greater Melbourne area. The counsel and legal guidance that we provide is of particular help when clients are dealing with medical malpractice lawsuits for injuries sustained due to doctors or hospitals.

We'd like to use this post to consider some telling statistics about medical malpractice lawsuits. This should help put the severity of these legal claims into better perspective.

Most Common Reasons for Medical Malpractice Claims Being Filed

According to a study in the Journal of the American Medical Association, the most common inpatient medical claims were surgical errors, which accounted for 34% of medical malpractice legal claims. For outpatient medical claims, errors in diagnosis were most common, accounting for 43%.

The Fatalities from Medical Malpractice Cases Are Startling

The Journal of the American Medical Association also reported some startling numbers with regard to fatalities from medical malpractice cases. It's estimated that up to 225,000 people die each year as a result of medical malpractice. This includes 80,000 deaths from infection, 12,000 fatalities as a result of unnecessary surgical procedures, 7,000 fatalities from medication errors while in hospitals, 20,000 for other kinds of hospital mistakes, and 106,000 fatalities from serious complications from using medication.

Most Common Medical Specialists in Negligence Cases

A 2006 study in the New England Journal of Medicine found that obstetrician-gynecologists (OBGYNs) were the defendants in 19% of medical malpractice cases. Following OBGYNs, general surgeons accounted for 17% of defendants and primary care physicians accounted for 16% of defendants.

Success Rates in Medical Malpractice Cases

The New England Journal of Medicine also noted the chances of success in medical malpractice cases for plaintiffs. Overall, the plaintiff prevailed in 61% of medical malpractice cases in which a settle was reached in order to resolve the legal claim. In medical malpractice cases that went to trial, plaintiffs prevailed in 21% of verdicts.

While the number in actual trials may seem low, keep in mind that the nature of the case does have a major affect on the overall success of a legal proceeding.

Average Amount of Time Required for Medical Malpractice Cases

In 2007, the U.S. Department of Justice examined the outcomes and timespans related to medical malpractice cases. On average, the injured patient typically files a medical malpractice lawsuits 16.5 months after the incident. Once the medical malpractice lawsuit is filed, resolution of the case through a settlement or a trial takes around 27.5 months.

How a Medical Malpractice Attorney Can Help You

When you work closely with a medical malpractice attorney, you will receive strong legal counsel that will help you in your time of legal need. This guidance will be crucial whether your case is resolved via settlement and particularly should your case go to trial.

Given the amount of time require to see a medical malpractice claim through, an attorney will primarily provide you with peace of mind and the ability to focus on recovery and moving forward in your life. For injury victims and their loved ones, this can be an invaluable bit of help.

Speak with the Attorneys of the Charpentier Law Firm

If you would like to learn more about your legal rights following a serious medical mistake that affects you or a loved one, be sure to contact our personal injury law firm today. The lawyers of the Charpentier Law Firm look forward to your visit and helping you in your time of legal need.

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