As recently as 2013, Pennsylvania (along with New York) was one of only two states to pay out more than $300 million in malpractice claims. If you or a loved one is living with the aftereffects of medical malpractice, this is encouraging. However, other statistics show that if you’re considering filing a medical malpractice suit, its important to have a well-documented case and strong representation. The Judicial System of Pennsylvania’s website reports that of 128 medical malpractice cases that went to a jury trial in 2014, 82 percent of verdicts were in the defendant’s favor. Of 18 medical malpractice jury trials in Philadelphia, only six of 18 cases were settled on behalf of the plaintiff, though many more plaintiffs received settlements in cases that never went to court.
These numbers emphasize a few points, one being that having a strong Philadelphia medical malpractice lawyer in your corner is essential to success. Another reason is that, as reported in a study in the New England Journal of Medicine, while most physicians will be sued for malpractice at least once in their careers, they (the doctors) will win most of these cases. You need strong representation, the type offered by Brotherly Law’s Philadelphia medical malpractice lawyers.
Here are a few helpful, significant facts about medical malpractice payouts. First, over 95% are settled before going to the judgment phase, which is a positive point if, like most people, you dread the idea of going to court. Another interesting fact, one in three settlements result from an incorrect diagnosis, followed by errors made during surgery (23 percent) and treatment (18 percent). Other common causes include medication errors, problems with anesthesia, equipment and monitoring of cases.
While anesthesia-based issues make up a relatively small percentage of medical malpractice claims, many of these cases involve devastating injuries and even death. Sometimes anesthesia-related claims are caused by a failure to fully document the patient’s medical history before surgery to identify possible complications, or by a failure to accurately inform the patient about the importance of sticking to preoperative instructions (including not eating before surgery). Other anesthesia-based malpractice claims are based on a failure to monitor the patient’s vital sings during surgery, using outdated or defective equipment and giving the patient too much anesthesia. These errors can result in permanent injury to the patient, including brain damage and even death.
Many of us live with the misconception that most medical malpractice occurs on the operating table. However, a large number of settlements are based on mistakes during the diagnostic phase, with overlooked, inaccurate and delayed diagnoses accounting for the greatest percentage of malpractice allegations in 2012.
Significant studies have shown that medication errors hurt over a million people a year in the U.S., and these mistakes happen across the board—from medication being incorrectly prescribed in the first place to poor administration of the medication in the hospital. In some cases doctors make correct diagnoses but prescribe the wrong medication or medications to treat their patient’s illness. In others instances, the prescription is correct but the wrong dosage is recommended or administered by the patient’s nurse.
There’s a lot of coverage given to skyrocketing medical malpractice insurance premiums, but here’s an under-reported fact—medical malpractice costs make up less than one percent of overall U.S. healthcare costs. Meanwhile, about 80% of medical malpractice cases were due to human error and could have been avoided.
That’s why the hardworking malpractice attorneys at Brotherly Law focus our attention, care and concern on the patients who are living with the effects of medical malpractice, including pain, suffering, unpaid medical bills and lost income, as well as emotional anguish.
Proving medical malpractice cases involves research, hard work and legal skill. These claims are challenging and you want personal injury attorneys with proven success in this field. When you call or visit our offices for your free consultation, we’ll listen closely to the details of your malpractice case and offer honest advice. We take many cases on a contingency basis, meaning you only owe legal fees if we win your case.
So send us a message using the form on this website or call our legal team at (215) 545-8500. One of our Philadelphia medical malpractice lawyers will respond to your call or email promptly to set up a free consultation to discuss your malpractice case in greater detail.
If you have been injured due to no fault of your own, you may be able to hold the responsible party accountable for the monetary damages resulting from the accident. Fill out the form below to request a free consultation so we can evaluate your case.