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Medical Malpractice Statistics

In today’s world of ever-advancing medical technology, the sad truth is that human error still plays a large part in the treatment patients receive. As a result, unnecessary injuries and deaths occur at a sometimes alarming rate. When this happens, patients or their families may seek compensation by filing a medical malpractice suit using a Massachusetts medical malpractice attorney against those they hold responsible. However, there are many variables that come into play when doing so. To gain a better understanding of medical malpractice lawsuits, let’s examine some interesting statistics.

According to the New England Journal of Medicine, just over 60 percent of people who file medical malpractice lawsuits are women with an average age of 40. Only about 12 percent of plaintiffs were patients age 65 or older, but slightly more than 20 percent of named plaintiffs were newborns. Of the doctors in the New England Journal of Medicine report who were sued most often, 20 percent were OBGYNs, while general surgeons and primary care doctors were close behind at 17 and 16 percent respectively.

While many people think all medical malpractice suits in Massachusetts (MA) result in the awarding of millions of dollars, that is not always true. According to cases analyzed by the Journal of the American Medical Association, patients suing for injuries sustained during inpatient procedures received an average of $363,000, while those cases involving outpatient stays were awarded $290,000.

Because most MA medical malpractice cases can be very complex, it takes a great amount of time to file suit and have the case resolved. On average, the U.S. Department of Justice found the average patient waited almost 17 months after an injury to file a lawsuit. Afterwards, it was found to take an additional 27 months for the case to reach a resolution, either through a settlement or jury verdict.

Surprising to many people, plaintiffs do not always win their medical malpractice lawsuits in Massachusetts. The New England Journal of Medicine noted that of all medical malpractice lawsuits that went to court, plaintiffs won only slightly more than 20 percent of their cases. However, in cases where an out-of-court settlement was reached, the percentage of plaintiffs winning their cases increased to 61 percent.

While there is never any guarantee as to how a medical malpractice lawsuit will end, those who feel they have been injured due to the negligence of others they trusted with their care should speak to a MA medical malpractice attorney or a Massachusetts medical malpractice lawyer to discuss their options.

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