Medical Malpractice Payouts Increase for First Time in a Decade

According to the National Trial Lawyers, payouts for medical malpractice cases actually increased in 2013 for the first time in ten years. The National Practitioner Data Bank found that companies paid out $168 million more than 2012, an increase of 4.7%. Keeping consistent with the trend of years passed, the vast majority of the payouts (96%) were from settlements, not judgments.

The state of California saw the largest increase in malpractice payouts last year, with a $51 million jump. In total, 38 states, or 78% of the country experienced a surge in payouts. New Jersey and Pennsylvania also saw an increase, with payouts surpassing the total in 2012 by $43 million and $41 million, respectively. Interestingly, New York had the highest decrease, where they fell $73 million, but still remains the state with the high malpractice settlements overall. Other states that paid out less in settlements include Massachusetts and Illinois.

The top three states for Medical Malpractice are of course, the great state of New York, sitting in the top spot, followed by Pennsylvania and Massachusetts. Payouts per capita for the number one spot totaled a whopping $38.83. The population in New York State in 2013 was 19.5 million people. To put that into perspective, North Dakota had the lowest payouts per capita in the United States, with only $2.96. North Dakota had a total population of just 723,393.

Malpractice settlements and judgments can range well past millions of dollars, as was the case with one of the largest award of its kind-a $216.7 million verdict in Florida. The 2006 case ruled in favor of a Tampa man who was left “brain-damaged and disabled after hospital emergency room doctors misdiagnosed stroke symptoms for a headache,” according to the Wall Street Journal. Just last year, a $24.4 million verdict was awarded to the family of an infant who alleged that doctors at Tufts University Medical Center removed the intestines of newborn with a potentially fatal condition.

The infographic breaks down the payouts by malpractice allegations, with 33% pertaining to issues with diagnosis. Following close behind, 23% of allegations involved surgery, while 18% stemmed from treatment issues.

We put our lives in the hands of medical professionals, trusting that they will adhere to their oath and do no harm. While the vast majority of doctors, nurses, and caregivers take pride in their jobs, medical malpractice does happen, and victims are faced with navigating an extremely confusing process while dealing with their own pain.

According to the American Board of Profession Liability Attorneys, some examples of medical malpractice include:

• Failure to diagnose or misdiagnosis • Misreading or ignoring laboratory results • Unnecessary surgery • Surgical errors or wrong site surgery • Improper medication or dosage • Poor follow-up or aftercare • Premature discharge • Disregarding or not taking appropriate patient history • Failure to order proper testing • Failure to recognize symptoms
Though no amount of money will ever compensate for your injuries or the loss of a loved one, victims of medical malpractice and their families may be entitled to financial relief through a Massachusetts Medical Malpractice Lawsuit or a Wrongful Death Lawsuit.

Medical Malpractice Lawsuit litigation in Massachusetts can be extremely complex and often confusing, but our seasoned team of Massachusetts Medical Malpractice Attorneys understand the difficulties faced by victims of medical malpractice and their families following a medical error. We are happy to answer any questions you might have along the way. Our dedicated attorneys have decades of experience successfully handling medical malpractice cases and will help you receive the compensation and peace of mind you deserve.

Read the full article from The National Trial Lawyers

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