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Medical Malpractice Facts

Medical malpractice isn’t something to be taken lightly – many people are critically injured or lose their lives to this completely preventable problem every day. Whether by surgical error, misdiagnosis, medication or anesthesia errors, people across the nation suffer greatly due to the mistakes or negligence of medical professionals in hospitals and in private clinic settings.

Here’s what you should know about medical malpractice and how you can get the help you need if you or someone in your family were the victim of a doctor, nurse, or hospital’s negligence.

Medical Malpractice Facts

  • Medical malpractice is the third leading cause of death in the nation, killing only slightly less people than cancer and heart disease.
  • Diagnostic errors cause between 80,000 to 100,000 deaths in the United States every year.
  • 45% of malpractice claims are inpatient and 38% are outpatient.
  • Hospitals report approximately 195,000 deaths each year due to mistakes that could have been prevented.
  • Malpractice claims can be broken down by type: 33% diagnosis errors, 23% surgical errors, 18% treatment problems, 10% obstetrics, and 10% anesthesia or medication errors.
  • 1 out of every 3 patients in a hospital will be the victim of an error made by a medical professional. Some errors are never brought to the patient’s attention or do not cause problems significant enough for the patient to notice.
  • Top misdiagnosed conditions by primary care physicians include heart attack, cancer, and meningitis.
  • Some medical malpractice cases can result from patients not being provided with adequate information about the risks versus benefits of a procedure, treatment, or medication. If there’s a poor outcome and the patient did not give informed consent, a legal claim may exist.
  • Critical injuries and deaths resulting from medical malpractice are often preventable and result from the negligence or carelessness of medical professionals in doctor’s offices and hospitals.
  • There are several “never events” that are considered completely preventable by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services including but not limited to: objects left in the body during surgery and infections at the surgical site, blood incompatibility, bed sores, facility acquired injuries, air embolisms, and vascular or urinary catheter associated infections. In these cases, the chances of finding the hospital strictly liable is high.

Malpractice Lawsuit Facts

  • The Massachusetts General Hospital Department of Medicine conducted a 2009 study that suggested most physicians would be the subject of a malpractice lawsuit at some point in their career.
  • Between 1996 and 2010, over $38 billion was paid out to victims through medical malpractice lawsuits.
  • 96% of all medical malpractice cases are settled without going to court.
  • 16% of malpractice cases are against primary care physicians. Primary care physicians commonly misdiagnose patients or make a medication error.
  • Doctors rarely face disciplinary action when they commit even grave negligence that results in the critical, permanent injury or death of a patient.
  • The burden of proof in a malpractice lawsuit rests on the shoulders of the patient. He or she must prove that the medical professional providing care failed to meet the same standard of care another professional would have in the same situation.
  • Most medical malpractice cases that are settled without the help of an attorney settle for much less than they would have settled for with an attorney advocating for the patient. Hospitals and insurance companies are quick to twist situations around to make malpractice seem like an unpreventable accident or the fault of the patient.

Were You or a Loved One the Victim of Medical Malpractice?

If you or a family member suffered injury due to the carelessness or negligence of a medical professional, don’t hesitate to secure legal representation. This is particularly true if you’ve lost a loved one due to medical malpractice wrongful death.

It’s important to not only receive compensation for the damages you and your family have incurred due to a medical professional’s negligence, but also to hold that medical professional responsible for his or her actions and to ensure the same doesn’t happen again to someone else. Contact Mazow | McCullough, PC to learn more about your legal options by calling (855) 693-9084.

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