How Common Is Medical Malpractice?

Medical malpractice is a legal cause of action that arises when a health care provider fails to abide by the appropriate standard of care, thereby causing harm to a patient. Unfortunately, medical malpractice is far more common than many people realize. New York leads the nation in medical malpractice payouts—however, the majority of affected patients never file a claim.

Medical Negligence Is the Third Leading Cause of Death in the U.S.

Johns Hopkins Medicine reports that medical mistakes are the third leading cause of death in the United States. The extent of the human toll is staggering: researchers estimate that nearly 250,000 people die as the result of medical negligence every year. To put that number into perspective, only heart problems and cancer cause more deaths than medical errors.

While medical malpractice comes in a wide range of different forms, diagnostic errors are the single largest contributor to U.S. mortality. A timely, accurate diagnosis is crucial to getting a patient proper care. Failure to diagnose a condition and medical misdiagnosis can prevent a person from receiving the immediate medical care that they need. In some cases, a proper diagnosis is not made until it is too late to effectively treat their condition.

Less Than Two Percent of Doctors Are Responsible for Half of Payouts

It is important to emphasize that most medical professionals are trying their best to deliver high-quality care to patients. A relatively small number of doctors are cited in a highly disproportionate percentage of medical malpractice claims. According to a study cited by Becker’s Hospital Review, 1.8 percent of American physicians were responsible for more than half of the payouts in all medical malpractice lawsuits. Unfortunately, hospitals and other healthcare providers sometimes fail to take corrective action against a poor-performing doctor until multiple incidents of serious malpractice have occurred.

Most Medical Negligence Victims Never File a Formal Malpractice Claim

Based on the best available data, public safety experts estimate that approximately 2 percent of medical negligence victims file a formal claim. Many people are simply unaware of their rights and options. Make sure you and your family are in the best position to take advantage of rights. If you or your loved one suffered harm as a result of a doctor’s error, you should schedule a free consultation with an experienced medical malpractice attorney. Do not assume that you are prevented from bringing a claim. Your lawyer will be able to review your case and let you know if you have a viable legal claim.

Call Our Medical Malpractice Lawyers Today

At Richmond Vona, LLC, our medical malpractice attorneys fight aggressively to protect the rights of patients. If you or someone you know was injured as a result of medical negligence, we can help. To schedule a no fee, no obligation consultation, please contact us now. We represent medical malpractice victims throughout Western New York, including in Lake Erie Beach, Springville, Geneseo, Brockport, and Batavia.