The Goldberg Law Firm Co., LPA

The Goldberg Law Firm Co., LPA

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Medical Malpractice Statistics

Medical malpractice claims can help identify areas where primary health care in the United States needs improvement, according to the American Academy of Family Physicians. The Academy refers to a study entitled, “Learning from Malpractice Claims about Negligent, Adverse Events in Primary Care in the United States,” in suggesting that the medical community can learn from tort claims. In that study, researchers looked at primary care malpractice claims settled between 1985 and 2000 in the United States. The study focused on a subset of 5,921 claims that were clear errors. The researchers found:

  • 68 percent of the errors were in outpatient settings and resulted in more than 1,200 deaths;
  • Negligence was more likely to have severe outcomes when they occurred in hospitals, but the total number of high severity outcomes and death was larger in the outpatient setting;
  • Of the 10 most prevalent medical conditions with error-related claims, no single condition accounted for more than five percent of all negligent claims; and
  • Diagnostic error accounted for more than one-third of the claims.

A recent study by Healthgrades found that an average of 195,000 hospital deaths in each of the years 2000, 2001 and 2002 in the U.S. were due to potentially preventable medical errors. Researchers examined 37 million patient records and applied the mortality and economic impact models developed by Dr. Chunliu Zhan and Dr. Marlene R. Miller in a study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) in October of 2003. The Zhan and Miller study supported the Institute of Medicine’s (IOM) 1999 report conclusion, which found that medical errors caused up to 98,000 deaths annually and should be considered a national epidemic.

A 2006 follow-up to the 1999 Institute of Medicine of the National Academies study found that medication errors are among the most common medical mistakes, harming at least 1.5 million people every year. According to the study, 400,000 preventable drug-related injuries occur each year in hospitals, 800,000 in long-term care settings, and roughly 530,000 among Medicare recipients in outpatient clinics. The report stated that these are likely  to be conservative estimates. In 2000 alone, the extra medical costs incurred by preventable drug related injuries approximated $887 million — and the study looked only at injuries sustained by Medicare recipients, a subset of clinic visitors. None of these figures take into account lost wages and productivity or other costs.

The medical malpractice crisis is a myth. In May 2006, the study “Claims, Errors, and Compensation Payments in Medical Malpractice Litigation” was released by the Harvard School of Public Health. This study supported a trial lawyer position that in most cases the claimants were entitled to compensation. According to the study, “the vast majority of expenditures go toward litigation over errors and payment of them.”

Medical Malpractice continues to be a serious problem in our country — wreaking misery on victims and their loved ones. In 2005, the Institute of Medicine of the National Academies (“IOM”) estimated that over 150,000 people die in American Hospitals annually because of Medical Malpractice. This exceeds annual deaths from motor vehicle accidents, natural disasters and AIDS combined.

Medical Malpractice can occur during treatment from even the best doctors and hospitals — though just 20% of doctors prompt 20% of Malpractice claims. Whether the doctor and/or hospital is generally considered excellent or poor, victims of Medical Practice and their families deserve compensation for Medical Mistakes which cause them injury.

Medical Malpractice may either be committed by a doctor or those who work under them. Common examples include:

  • Failure to diagnose a serious medical condition;
  • Failure to properly care for or refer a patient with a serious medical condition;
  • Failure to properly instruct nurses and health workers how to care for a patient;
  • Failure to administer care in accordance with recognized professional standards; and
  • Failure to ensure proper continuity of care.

If you or a loved one have been victimized by such Medical errors, and sustained significant injuries because of a Medical Mistake, you need a Law Firm with the experience and resources to bring your claim. It is very important to make a Medical Malpractice claim in a timely fashion, since the Statute of Limitations for Medical Malpractice and Wrongful Death are very short. If you have questions about the time-frame for bringing a claim, please contact our office.

At Goldberg Law Offices, we have over 23 years of experience in helping victims of Medical Malpractice and their families. We have a full-time physician on staff to review your case and a proven track record of bringing satisfaction to those injured by Medical Malpractice. We are not afraid to go up against any doctor or hospital. We offer no-charge consultation and will be happy to discuss a potential claim. Don’t let the compensation you may be entitled to lapse for failure to file your claim in a timely fashion. Contact us today to discuss your potential claim at no cost to you.