In 2005, the Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) reported that a jury was involved in the decision-making process for 99 percent of trials involving medical malpractice and negligence. The jury had the ultimate say as to whether a plaintiff was able to recover damages for the injuries that they suffered in these cases. The BJS also reported that only 2,449 medical malpractice cases were actually brought to trial in 2005. Plaintiffs won about 25 percent of these cases.
Medical malpractice accidents can have very serious implications for the lives of victims. A single wrong prescription or surgical error can cost thousands of dollars for a victim or, in the worst cases, the victim’s own life. It’s important for patients to be aware of medical malpractice statistics before choosing a doctor or deciding upon a surgeon for an important procedure.
If you suspect that you have suffered from an accident involving medical malpractice, then it is important that you acknowledge this feeling and not ignore it. There are far too many people who suffer from medical malpractice every year. It’s likely that you may have a cause of action for medical malpractice and may be able to recover damages if you suspect that a doctor has erred in your case.
Medical Malpractice Lawsuit Statistics on Awards and Settlements
If you have lost a loved one due to medical malpractice, then you should be aware that it may still be possible for you to file a lawsuit and stand up for the rights of your loved one.
For the plaintiffs who have won their cases, the payout has been substantial. According to the BJS, winning plaintiffs were able to recover at least $400,000 in jury trials held in 2005. This amount is at least 17 times greater than the average award given in a tort case.
About two-fifths of all cases involving a recovery of more than $400,000 were wrongful death actions. This means that loved ones were asserting the rights of a family member who died as the result of negligence in a surgery, failure to diagnose an illness, a prescription error, or another related reason. Make sure that you get in touch with a lawyer as soon as possible if you’re considering a wrongful death action because there may be a statute of limitations that applies to your case.
Frequency of Medical Malpractice Accidents in the United States
In the United States, it is estimated that there are many more cases of medical malpractice that occur than ultimately involve a trial. According to the Congressional Budget Office (CBO), more than 181,000 injuries that occurred and could be connected to medical malpractice in 2003, but few of them had their day in court. The safety of patients has never been more at risk in the United States health-care system, and it is vital that patients understand the risks of receiving medical help.
Some of the leading causes of death frequently involve medical negligence. According to Institute of Medicine (IOM) research carried out in 2005, the leading causes of death in the United States include:
- Heart disease (652,091 deaths)
- Cancer (559,312)
- Stroke (143,579)
- Respiratory illness (130,933)
- Accidents (117,809)
- Diabetes (75,119)
- Alzheimer’s disease (71,599)
- Influenza (63,001)
- Nephrosis (43,901)
- Septicemia (34,136)
In 2003, more than 98,000 preventable medical errors were likely associated with patients who had one of these illnesses or injuries. Patients in the American health-care system deserve to receive the best medical treatment possible, but it is clear that hospitals are failing to deliver this care.
The public remains unaware of the factors that can contribute to preventable medical errors in hospital settings. These factors include:
- Lack of adequate staffing for a hospital
- Poorly trained nursing staff
- Fatigue or exhaustion of doctors, surgeons, and staff
- Lack of adequate medical supplies
- Failure to purchase necessary medical equipment
- Failure to repair broken medical equipment
These troubling statistics reveal that the American public needs to be more aware of the level of care that they receive in medical settings. It is important for the public to begin considering how they may hold hospitals accountable for poor treatment through medical malpractice actions.
Illinois Medical Malpractice Accident Statistics
In Illinois, incidents of medical malpractice have been consistently frequent since 2000. The problem is that fewer Illinois residents are asserting their legal rights in medical malpractice actions. In 2000 to 2003, more people filed medical malpractice lawsuits than in 2009 to 2011. For 2000 to 2003, statistics on medical malpractice were as follows:
- A total of 464 cases of medical malpractice were reported.
- Plaintiffs recovered damages in 182 of those cases.
- Seventeen cases involved verdicts with damages of $10 million or more.
- Individuals who received more than $10 million in damages comprised about 10 percent of the total pool of successful plaintiffs in medical malpractice cases.
For 2009 to 2011, statistics on medical malpractice were as follows:
- Just 382 cases of medical malpractice were reported.
- Plaintiffs recovered damages in 112 of those cases.
- Seven cases involved verdicts with damages of $10 million or more.
- Individuals who received more than $10 million in damages comprised about six percent of the total pool for successful plaintiffs in medical malpractice cases.
If you have been injured due to medical malpractice, then it is important to realize that you may be entitled to a recovery that involves thousands or even millions of dollars in damages. Personal injury attorneys in Illinois can help estimate the amount that your claim may be worth so that you are aware of your legal rights.
Average Insurance Claim for Medical Malpractice
In Illinois, certain areas of medicine tend to have significant total payouts. The Illinois Department of Insurance has released a study of medical malpractice statistics in the state, and the study indicates that the following payouts were made in these areas of medicine for 2005 to 2008:
- Surgery: $203,572,109
- Gynecology and Obstetrics: $148,552,053
- Internal Medicine: $76,650,828
- General Practitioners: $63,957,474
- Anesthesiology: $46,662,496
- Cardiovascular Disease: $23,140,818
- Emergency Medicine: $39,097,484
These statistics show that there is not just one particular area of medicine that involves medical malpractice claims. A patient can be harmed by a doctor’s negligence in a variety of medical settings and areas of medicine. It is important for patients to realize that they can be susceptible to the negligence of doctors at any point during their course of treatment.
Whether one is going to a doctor for a simple checkup or having an invasive operation, it is possible to become a victim of medical malpractice. Because of the far-reaching nature of medical malpractice claims, it is important for individuals to assert their legal rights in medical malpractice actions or seek the help of personal injury lawyers when necessary.
Types of Injuries Associated With Medical Malpractice
Patients can suffer in a variety of ways when a doctor or staff member is negligent in the course of treatment. Some of the injuries that a patient may suffer as the result of medical malpractice are:
- Failure to detect of serious illnesses like cancer
- Internal bleeding
- Depression and anxiety
- Damage to the wrong part of the body during a surgery
- Birth injuries during a delivery
- In the worst cases, premature death
If you or a loved one has suffered after receiving treatment from a doctor, then you may want to get in touch with a medical negligence lawyer in Illinois. You can learn more about your potential medical malpractice claim and how to proceed. The major hurdle of dealing with a medical malpractice claim is frequently negotiating with insurance companies. A lawyer is well-equipped and has experience in negotiating with insurance companies and can ensure that you do not accept a payout that is too low for the injuries that you have suffered from medical malpractice.
Troubling Medical Malpractice Statistics
According to Becker’s Hospital Review, statistics show that the number of medical malpractice cases being filed in the United States is only increasing every year. In 2011, there were more than 12,000 payouts made for medical malpractice, and the majority of claims were settled outside of court. Statistics show that more than 93 percent of payouts resulted from settlements in 2011.
Medical malpractice cannot continue to go unacknowledged in the United States. In 2011, more than 31 percent of medical malpractice claims involved the death of a loved one, and more than 19 percent of medical malpractice claims involved a serious permanent injury to a loved one.
To Err is Human; to Suffer is Unacceptable
It is clear that members of the public must continue to assert their legal rights when they do not receive adequate treatment in the health-care system. Get in touch with medical malpractice lawyers in Illinois today to learn about your legal options. You may be entitled to receive a settlement for the injuries that you have suffered from a doctor’s negligence.