As you are likely aware, medical malpractice has become an unfortunately common occurrence in the United States. While doctors, nurses, and other medical professionals have a duty and an obligation to provide patients with a certain baseline level of care, this does not always happen. In the event a doctor ends up providing care that is inadequate and his or her patient is harmed as a result, that patient may have the right to pursue legal action. Medical malpractice has been a hot topic in recent years, which isn’t necessarily a good thing. Last year alone, more than $3 billion was spent in medical malpractice payouts, which averages about one payout ever 43 minutes. Shocking, isn’t it? While there are certain things people can do to prevent being a victim of medical negligence, it shouldn’t have to be this way. We trust doctors and other healthcare workers to provide us with care and treat whatever condition we are experiencing, regardless of how minor or severe. Medical malpractice is not something people want to have to suffer through, but it happens time and time again. If you or a loved one went into a hospital or doctor’s office to seek medical care and left worse off than when you went in, you may have the right to file a malpractice lawsuit. Medical malpractice can have lasting, devastating effects that impact both the lives of victims and their families.
We could spend hours upon hours discussing the ins and outs of medical malpractice cases and why they are becoming more common than we are comfortable with, but let’s leave that for another day. Instead, here is a look at a few of the most interesting facts about medical malpractice that every patient should be familiar with:
- According to the Institute of Medicine, preventable medical errors result in the deaths of anywhere between 45,000 and 98,000 hospital patients in the United States every single year. Yes, you read that correctly, nearly 100,000 people die from preventable errors made by trusted medical professionals each year. Furthermore, an estimated 200,000 people are injured by preventable medical errors annually.
- Medical malpractice is 100% preventable. If proper safety procedures were adhered to and those in the medical field took their time to make sure they were accurately administering care, we wouldn’t be here discussing medical malpractice. In fact, approximately 80% of all mistakes made in the healthcare system are a result of human error.
- More than 30% of physicians end up paying more than $10,000 in medical malpractice insurance. There are various reasons for this, but the main one is due to the high volume of malpractice lawsuits in America.
- The top five areas of medical malpractice allegations include the following:
- About .3% of healthcare spending in the United States is spent on medical malpractice. On the other hand, the yearly cost of treating medical errors that could have been prevented is around $29 billion.
These facts about medical malpractice in the United States should give you a clearer picture of this growing problem. If you or a loved one were injured – or worse – because of the negligence of a medical professional, contact an attorney from Atkins & Markoff today.