Medical malpractice seems to be in the news frequently lately. From doctors who remove the wrong ribs to people who have surgery meant for other people, cases of medical malpractice are downright scary. If you want to know the down and dirty of medical malpractice, we have facts that you may be interested in.
1. There are between 44,000 and 98,000 people in this country who die every year due to medical errors that were entirely preventable.
2. Medical errors cost society as a whole between $17 and $29 billion each year.
3. Doctors and medical professionals paid $6.4 billion for medical malpractice insurance in 2000.
4. One in eight preventable medical errors that occur in hospitals make it to court each year. That means that seven more do not.
5. Punitive damages, or rewards that are meant to punish, were granted in only 1% of medical malpractice cases. Don’t believe everything you see on television…huge punitive damage rewards are rare.
6. The amount of money that people are awarded has remained steady over the years. On average, people are paid about $140,000 by the time a court case is over. The millions that the lawyers you see on commercials promise is not based in reality.
7. In fact, only about 5% of all medical malpractice payouts have topped $1 million.
8. There is a small number of doctors responsible for the majority of medical malpractice payouts. There are only 5% of doctors, or 1 in 20, that are responsible for just over half of all malpractice payouts.
9. Just 8% of doctors who have been involved in two or more medical malpractice payouts have received discipline from their state’s medical board.
10. The number jumps to a less than impressive 17% of doctors disciplined when the number of medical malpractice payouts hits five.
You shouldn’t have to worry when you go to the doctor. You should be able to walk into a hospital or doctor’s office and expect to receive the highest standard of care. Unfortunately, what you expect does not always meet reality.
If you have been injured because of a doctor’s negligence, call our office. A member of our team will review the details of your case at no cost to you and advise you of your options. Call us now for assistance.