If you are like most people across the United States, you’ve heard of medical malpractice. Indeed, you likely have a basic understanding of what is meant by the term medical malpractice. With that said, there is an array of medical malpractice facts that you’re likely to find downright shocking. We present some of these startling medical malpractice facts for your consideration.
Definition of Medical Malpractice
Before diving deeper into facts and stats about medical malpractice, having the technical definition of the term can be helpful. Medical malpractice legally is defined as:
Medical malpractice occurs when a hospital, doctor or other health care professional, through a negligent act or omission, causes an injury to a patient. The negligence might be the result of errors in diagnosis, treatment, aftercare or health management.
Medical Malpractice Facts and Stats
As mentioned previously, there are some facts associated with medical malpractice that truly are surprising or shocking:
- Medical malpractice in the United States is the third leading cause of death annually.
- Only cancer and heart disease take more lives in the United States each year.
- 45 percent of medical malpractice claims involve a hospitalized individual.
- 38 percent of medical malpractice claims involve an outpatient situation.
- Diagnostic mistakes account for between 80,000 to 100,000 fatalities each year in the United States.
- 33 percent of medical malpractice claims involve diagnosis errors.
- 23 percent of medical malpractice claims arise from surgical mistakes.
- 18 percent of med mal claims are associated with treatment issues.
- 10 percent of medical malpractice claims involve obstetrics.
- 10 percent of medical malpractice claims arise from anesthesia or medication errors.
- Nearly 200,000 deaths occur in hospitals each year as the result of complete avoidable mistakes.
- One out of three hospital patients will be the victim of an error made by medical professional.
- Some of these errors are never brought to the attention of a patient.
- The top three misdiagnosed conditions by doctors are cancer, meningitis, and heart attack.
- A notable percentage of medical malpractice cases involve patients who were not provided proper information to make an informed consent to a medical procedure.
Examples of Completely Preventable Medical Malpractice
As mentioned a moment ago, there are instances of medical malpractice that are completely preventable. Examples of such medical negligence that are completely preventable include but are not limited to:
- Objects left in the body during surgery
- Infections at the surgical site
- Blood incompatibility,
- Bed sores
- Facility acquired injuries
- Air embolisms
- Vascular or urinary catheter associated infections
Medical Malpractice Claim Data
There are also some important statistics associated with actual medical malpractice claims that are made in the United States:
96 percent of medical malpractice claims are settled without going to trial.
16 percent of medical malpractice claims are made against primary care physicians.
Primary care physicians most often face claim because of a misdiagnosis or medication error.
Doctors rarely face professional disciplinary action, even when they commit serious negligence.
Medical malpractice claims settled without the assistance of a medical malpractice lawyer typical settle for much less that claims settled with the assistance of legal counsel.
Protect Your Legal Rights with an Experienced Medical Malpractice Lawyer
If you believe that you are the victim of medical malpractice, the legal team at The Doan Law Firm is here for you. You can reach a medical malpractice lawyer at The Doan Law Firm any time of the day or night by calling (800) 349-0000. Our medical malpractice lawyer hotline is staffed 365 days a year, including major holidays.
A nationwide law firm, we can schedule an initial consultation at any one of our 40 offices located from coast to coast across the United States. We can also arrange an initial consultation at your home or at any other location that works for you. A virtual case evaluation can be arranged online as well. There is never a charge for an initial consultation with a Doan Law Firm medical malpractice lawyer.
The Doan Law Firm makes an attorney fee promise to you. Our firm will never charge you an attorney fee unless we win your case for you. The legal team at The Doan Law Firm is dedicated to fighting tirelessly on your behalf for justice and the compensation that you deserve in your medical malpractice case.