Important Medical Malpractice Statistics By Foley Law Firm on December 10, 2021

an upset looking doctor holding his hand to his foreheadMedical malpractice refers to preventable medical errors that may cause temporary or permanent injuries or even death. When medical malpractice occurs it can leave victims and their families with lifelong emotional and financial hardship. 

At Foley Law Firm, our attorneys help medical malpractice victims and their families recover compensation and hold parties responsible for medical errors.   

Medical malpractice is sadly more common than many people realize. The attorneys of Foley Law Firm hope to make the impact of medical errors clear by highlighting medical malpractice statistics for our clients in ScrantonPAStroudsburg, PA, and Wilkes-BarrePA

How Many Medical Malpractice Deaths Occur Annually?

While not all incidences of medical malpractice end in death, many do. The exact number of deaths resulting from medical errors is not exactly known but after analyzing an eight-year period of medical death rate data, patient safety experts from Johns Hopkins Medicine estimate that more than 250,000 deaths per year are due to medical errors. 

Physicians and Malpractice Statistics

Any medical professional who causes harm as a result of a careless error or substandard care may be held liable for medical malpractice. However, physicians typically experience most of the blame in medical malpractice lawsuits. According to the American Medical Association (AMA), the longer someone works as a physician, the more likely they have been sued. 

Additional statistics from the AMA regarding physicians and medical malpractice include:

  • As many as 1 in 3 physicians have had a liability lawsuit filed against them. 
  • Almost half of physicians aged 55 and older have been sued. 
  • Doctors under the age of 40 are less likely to have been sued for medical malpractice with only about 8% having been sued. 
  • General surgeons and obstetrician-gynecologists are most likely to be sued for medical malpractice. Roughly 63% have been sued. 
  • Approximately 18% of pediatricians and 16% of psychiatrists have been sued, making these specialties least likely to be sued. 

Pennsylvania Medical Malpractice Lawsuits

According to case filing data from Unified Judicial System of Pennsylvania, there were 1,476 medical malpractice lawsuits filed in 2020 in the state of Pennsylvania. 

Of these lawsuits, there were a total of 27 trial verdicts; 63% ruled in favor of the defendant with the remainder of verdicts in favor of the plaintiff. Verdicts in favor of the plaintiff were as follows:

  • 14.8% awarded $500,000 or less in compensatory damages
  • 11.1% awarded $500,000 to $1 million in compensatory damages
  • 3.7% awarded $1 million to $5 million in compensatory damages
  • 7.4% awarded over $10 million in compensatory damages

Learn More about Your Legal Options

If you believe you or a loved one has been injured as a result of medical malpractice, it’s important to speak with an attorney to learn about legal remedies available to you. To discuss which legal options may be best for your situation, call (570) 342-8194 to schedule a consultation.  

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