Medical malpractice happens more frequently than some may think. Despite numerous measures put into place to better protect patients, it still happens at an alarming rate according to some medical error statistics. In fact, according to a Johns Hopkins study, surgical ‘never events,’ for example, occur an estimated 4,000 times per year.
States with Most Medical Malpractice Claims
Certain states had higher incidences of malpractice claims in 2012, according to Diederich Healthcare, a national medical malpractice insurance provider for physicians.
The top five states for medical malpractice were:
- New York (1,744);
- California (1,352);
- Florida (1,003);
- Pennsylvania (903); and
- New Jersey (630).
The state with the lowest number was Wyoming with only 11. In 2012, the state of Ohio saw 287 claims, totaling $83,394,650 in damages.
Medical Malpractice Statistics by Age
Diederich Healthcare also reports that over 36 percent of malpractice payments are paid to patients between the ages of 40 and 59 years old. In 2012, they accounted for $1,351,743,100 in medical malpractice damages. Coming in second for malpractice payouts are those between the ages of 20 and 39 years old, who were awarded a total of $786,317,650 in damages.
Medical Malpractice Injury Statistics
According to the American Association for Justice, 39 percent of malpractice claims are filed when patients sustain significant physical injury. Another 15 percent of claims stem from major physical injuries and 26 percent are filed as a result of death.
The rest are filed when there has been no adverse injury or when physical injuries were minor. A breach of consent and emotional injury also make up the remaining types of claims.
Surgical ‘Never Events’
The Johns Hopkins study mentioned above examined certain events considered ‘never events,’ meaning they should never occur, these include:
- leaving a foreign object in the patient’s body;
- performing the wrong procedure on a patient; and
- operating on the wrote body site.
According to medical error statistics from the study, an object is left in the patient’s body an estimated 39 times a week, and the wrong procedure is performed or the wrong body site is operated upon an estimated 20 times per week each.
Filing a Medical Malpractice Claim
Despite some surprising medical error statistics, the reality is that many errors are often preventable.
Liable parties could include:
- physicians’ assistants; and
Sometimes a lawsuit can also be filed against a hospital or clinic.
In order to be successful with a claim, victims must prove three things. The first is that a duty of care was owed (establishes that a relationship between the patient and healthcare provider existed).
The second thing that must be proven is the healthcare provider deviated from a standard level of care expected of professionals in the same situation. In other words, he or she acted in a negligent manner.
Finally, it must be proven that as a result of negligence, it caused significant injuries to the patient. You must be able to establish damages that you’ve suffered.
The attorneys at Mellino Robenalt LLC in Cleveland have handled cases like yours before and understand the emotional and physical devastation that victims of medical errors may experience. This is why they’ve dedicated their practice to help victims of medical malpractice (440) 333-3800.