Telling Medical Malpractice Statistics: Our Lawyers Can Help

Mar 18, 2016 — by Gary Zucker
Tags: Medical Malpractice

A stethoscope on a bar graphThe lawyers of Gary A. Zucker & Associates, P.C. are leading litigators in Brooklyn, helping clients make smart legal choices during different phases of a case. We have helped countless victims in medical malpractice and hospital error lawsuits, fighting diligently for favorable settlements and verdicts.

The numbers can be alarming when you consider how common medical errors are. We'd like to go over some telling numbers right now.

Medical Mistakes Are the Third Leading Cause of Death in the United States

A landmark study published by The Journal of Patient Safety in 2014 concluded that medical errors and mistakes were the third-leading cause of death in the United States. The number of fatalities each year could be as high as 440,000.

Medical Errors and Their Numbers

To give you an idea of how serious medical errors may be, let's consider the following numbers:

  • Medication Errors – US News and World Report estimated that up to 1.5 million people are harmed due to medication errors each year.

  • Too Many Blood Transfusions – A study conducted in 2011 estimated that roughly 60 percent of blood transfusions performed around the world were considered inappropriate.

  • Infections in the Hospital – The Centers for Disease Control estimated that 1 in every 25 patients will contract an infection while in the hospital.

  • Surgical Mistakes – A study conducted by Johns Hopkins University estimated that there are more than 4,000 surgical errors that occur each year.

The Journal of the American Medical Association offers another set of numbers that are startling in terms of fatalities from medical errors:

  • Unnecessary surgery causes up to 12,000 deaths a year
  • Medication errors in hospitals causes up to 7,000 deaths a year
  • Infections cause up to 80,000 deaths a year

Who Is Usually the Victim of Medical Malpractice?

A 2006 study by the New England Journal of Medicine found that 60 percent of victims in medical malpractice cases were women; the median age for women was 38 years old. Around 20 percent of the victims were newborns, and 12 percent of victims were senior citizens.

Statistics on Defendants in Medical Malpractice Cases

The same 2006 study from the New England Journal of Medicine noted that OB-GYNs were the defendants in 19 percent of medical malpractice lawsuits, followed closely by general surgeons (17 percent) and primary care providers (16 percent).

How Successful Are Plaintiffs in Medical Malpractice Lawsuits?

Citing the New England Journal of Medicine study once again, the findings revealed that plaintiffs received a favorable pre-trial settlement in 61 percent of cases. By contrast, plaintiffs prevailed in only 21 percent of full jury trials .

How Many Medical Malpractice Cases Are Settled Out of Court?

According to the U.S. Bureau of Justice Statistics, the overwhelming majority of medical malpractice lawsuits (93 percent) are settled out of court.

Average Timeframes for Medical Malpractice Lawsuits

A 2007 study conducted by the United States Department of Justice found that on average, it took 27.5 months for a medical malpractice case to reach a resolution. Keep in mind that the numbers may be inexact as this takes into account both settlements and trials.

Contact Gary A. Zucker & Associates, P.C.

For more information about your legal rights in a medical malpractice lawsuit, be sure to contact our team of personal injury lawyers today. The attorneys here at Gary A. Zucker & Associates, P.C. will fight diligently for you in your time of legal need.

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