Payouts for Successful Medical Malpractice Claims Increases

Payouts for Successful Medical Malpractice Claims Increases

According to a new study, the number of successful medical malpractice lawsuits has declined over the last 2 decades, whereas the payout for each claim on average has increased. Specifically, in the years from 1992 to 2014, the number of paid medical negligence claims has dropped by 56%, while the average payout has risen 23%, to $353,000. Explanations behind the trend vary. On the one hand, tort reform measures limit the amount of recovery victims of medical mistakes may have in the form of non-economic damages. For example, California's Medical Insurance Compensation Reform Act (MICRA) caps the total at $250,000. This makes it infeasible for many potentially deserving plaintiffs to seek legal redress, given the cost of filing and bringing a medical malpractice lawsuit.

At the same time, doctors assert that their emphasis on increased patient safety has led to fewer incidents of medical harm, despite several studies indicating that medical mistakes remain the third leading cause of death in the United States.

Delays in diagnosis, or the failure to diagnose, remain the leading cause of medical malpractice, with birth injury cases often receiving the highest jury awards.

For more information, or if you believe that have been harmed by medical negligence and would like to see if you have a claim, please contact the experienced California medical negligence lawyers at Bostwick & Peterson LLP for an immediate consultation.


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