Malpractice Claims Slipping While Payouts Soar

Medical statement

A just-published study has found that while the rate of medical malpractice claims in the U.S. has dropped, the average award for successful claims has jumped by nearly 23%.

Those are the findings from the study that was published in the March 27th issue of JAMA Internal Medicine, a publication of the American Medical Association.

In this issue, we’ll talk about what’s going on.

The Study at a Glance

Dr. Adam Schaffer, Harvard Medical School instructor and lead author for the study, and his colleagues looked at figures from the National Practitioner Data Bank, which maintains a database on doctor specialties.

In total, they looked at 280,368 medical malpractice claims involving 175,667 doctors between 2009-2014.

Of those cases, the average awarded payout for successful claims was $353,000 – that’s up from the nearly $287,000 average reported between 1992-1996.

It Depends on the Specialty

The trends and payment data was not cut and dry. Rather, the changes seemed to vary widely depending on a doctor’s specialty.

For example, awards stemming from malpractice claims against general practitioners (family doctor) increased nearly $17,400. Awards generated from claims against pathologists (disease specialists) jumped by over $139,000.

Diagnosis Error Most Common Allegation

According to the study, the most common cause for a successful medical malpractice case during the reported timeframe was mistaken with diagnosis (32%).

This backs up previous reporting we’ve provided about a potential misdiagnosis crisis in the U.S.

Call The Fitzgerald Law Firm if You’ve Experienced Medical Malpractice

If you have been the victim of medical malpractice, you should know by reading the above information that you’re not alone. But be assured that you do have options for obtaining fair compensation.

For a free consultation, call The Fitzgerald Law Firm; our number is 800-323-9900.