• Aug
    Posted in:
    Posted by: Jarve Kaplan Granato Starr

    Does Medical Malpractice Happen Often?

    Americans tend to have faith in medical professionals: when we know that something is wrong, we go to the doctor and trust that they are going to tell us what is wrong and how to fix it, and we also trust that they’re going to get it right and take good care of us. Still, it’s natural to worry if you’re getting ready to have a medical procedure – and statistically speaking, there’s good reason for hesitation. As it turns out, medical malpractice happens much more frequently than our physicians would like us to know.

    According to statistics gathered by the New England Journal of Medicine, there ae up to 120,000 cases of medical malpractice that happen every year in the United States. What’s worrying is that even though that is how many times malpractice happens, there are only about 20,000 medical negligence claims filed each year. That means that one in six people are the victims of malpractice and don’t pursue justice on their own behalf. To get an idea of exactly how medical malpractice measures up when it comes to all of the personal injury claims filed in a year, only about 15 percent of personal injury or wrongful death claims are about medical negligence.

    Deciding what to do after you realize that you’ve been a victim of medical malpractice requires guidance from an experienced medical malpractice attorney. Most people elect to settle their claims out of court, and though making that decision may leave you with a lower award then is true when you win a jury verdict, your chances of actually getting compensated are better when you settle.  Out of court settlements represent 93 percent of all medical negligence payouts, and victims end up prevailing in those settlements 61 percent of the time. Though the national average payout on those settlements ranges from $290,000 to $462,000, that may represent a better way to go than pursuing a courtroom trial, which sees a higher average payout of $800,000 but only sees 21 percent of victims prevailing.

    There are a lot of factors that go into determining whether to file a malpractice claim and whether to settle out of court or pursue a jury trial. Much of the decision has to do with who was injured and how much the injury will impact their lives. When small children or infants are injured as a result of negligence, juries tend to be much more generous and empathetic then they are for older patients.

    To determine whether your situation represents medical malpractice and the appropriate way to pursue justice, make an appointment to speak with one of our experienced medical malpractice attorneys.



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