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How Common Is Medical Malpractice in the United States?

Medical malpractice happens more frequently than you may think, despite numerous measures put in place to protect patients. In fact, according to a Johns Hopkins study, surgical ‘never events,’ occur an estimated 4,000 times per year.

Medical Malpractice Statistics by Age

Diederich Healthcare has reported that over 36 percent of malpractice payments were paid to patients between the ages of 40 and 59 years old. In 2012, those payments amounted to $1,351,743,100 in medical malpractice damages. Victims between the ages of 20 and 39 years old 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 were filed as a result of significant physical injury. Another 15 percent of claims stemmed from major physical injuries and 26 percent were for wrongful death.

The rest were filed for minor physical injury. A breach of consent and emotional injury made 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
  • amputating the wrong limb or operating on the wrong side of the body.

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.

Winning Your Medical Malpractice Claim

An attorney can help determine who to hold liable in your medical malpractice claim. Those parties could include:

You may also be able to hold a hospital, emergency room, or urgent care clinic accountable.

A successful medical malpractice claim must prove three things. The first is that a duty of care was owed (in other words, a relationship existed between the patient and the healthcare provider).

The second is that the healthcare provider deviated from a standard level of care expected of professionals in the same situation — i.e., he or she acted negligently.

Finally, the plaintiff must prove that negligence caused significant injury. You must be able to establish damages that you’ve suffered.

If you have a question about medical malpractice, attorneys Chris Mellino and Tom Robenalt welcome you to contact our Cleveland office for a free consultation. You may also download or request Chris’ free, easy-to-read guide on how to file a claim in Ohio.

Out of All the Medical Malpractice Attorneys in Cleveland, Why Should I Trust Chris Mellino and Tom Robenalt to Handle My Claim?

First, Mellino Robenalt does not advertise. Attorneys and satisfied clients send us the majority of our cases. Others find us online.

Second, Chris Mellino and Tom Robenalt are respected throughout northeast Ohio for their ability to dig below the surface and make sure no fact is overlooked. In fact, Chris has been involved in several landmark cases, including Moskovitz v. Mt. Sinai Medical Center (1994) and Watkins_v._Cleveland_Clinic_Foundation (1998). In the latter, he and his previous partner were awarded the largest verdict in the state that year.

Third, medical malpractice claims are time consuming and labor intensive, so we’re selective about the cases we accept. Some firms:

  • take every case that walks in the door,
  • settle those cases for the first amount the defendant offers, so they can fund their next commercial to bring in even more clients, and
  • leave their clients in the hands of first-year associates, paralegals, or case managers.

We only pursue compensation for patients who’ve suffered a severe injury or disability. By limiting the number of cases we accept, we’re able to give each one the unique attention it deserves.

Last but not least, since 2010, Mellino Robenalt is the only medical malpractice law firm in Cleveland to be accepted into Primerus, which screens potential members by speaking to judges, other lawyers, bar associations, clients, and insurance carriers about a firm’s integrity, work product, fee structure, education, civility, and community service.

If you have questions about medical malpractice or whether you still have time to file a claim in Ohio, attorneys Chris Mellino and Tom Robenalt invite you to contact our Cleveland office for a free consultation.

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Mellino Robenalt, LLC in Cleveland, Ohio, represents clients in personal injury and medical malpractice lawsuits throughout Northeast Ohio. We represent clients in cities that include Independence, Lakewood, Akron, Westlake, Lorain, Mentor, Euclid, Medina, Middleburg Heights, Parma, North Olmsted and throughout Cuyahoga County, Summit County, Lake County, Lorain County, Medina County and Portage County.

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