Medical malpractice is the third leading cause of death in the United States.  According to the New England Journal of Medicine, 99% of physicians will face at least one lawsuit by the age of 65. With how common Medical malpractice lawsuits have become, a new study done by the medical malpractice law firm Rosenbaum & Associates highlighted the most important statistics over the past nine years and found interesting patterns that you should be aware of.

What is medical malpractice?

Medical malpractice can happen in many different ways, but by definition, this happens when a medical professional deviates from health standards and ends up injuring the patient. Any medical professional including nurses and dental hygienists can be sued for medical malpractice. Now, when it comes to the statute of limitations, every state is different, but for California for example, you have up to three years after the alleged injury took place to file a lawsuit. Meanwhile, Arizona gives victims of medical malpractice only two years after the injury took place to file a lawsuit.

Top 5 Medical Malpractice Facts You Should Know

1. New York Has The Highest Medical Malpractice Payments By State

The state totaled more than $7 Billion in payments, after New York, Pennsylvania has the second-highest payout rate with  $3.4 Billion. This is data taken between 2009 to 2018.


Medical Malpractice Payments by State

2. North Dakota Had The Lowest Medical Malpractice Pay Out

In the span of nine years, North Dakota only paid out 28 Million in medical malpractice lawsuits. Vermont was also one of the states with the lowest payout in 9 years with $44 Million.

3. Medical Malpractice Reports Have Decreased in the U.S. by 18%

Since 2009, medical malpractice reports have decreased by 2,588. 2009 Had the highest amount of reports with 14,017 meanwhile, 2018 had the lowest with 11,429.

Total Medical Malpractice Reports by Year

4. 2018 Had the Highest Amount of Medical Malpractice Payments

$4.02 Billion in medical malpractice damages were paid out in the year 2018, which is the most money victims received in the past nine years. The second-highest amount in damages was paid out in 2015 with $4.01 Billion. Collectively, $38.5 Billion has been paid out to victims of medical malpractice since 2009.

5. The Majority of Lawsuits Are Filed Against Physisians (MD)

Since 2009, more than 85,000 medical malpractice lawsuits have been filed against physicians. The second-highest sued medical professional are dentists with 14,000 claims filed in the last nine years. When 4000 physicians were surveyed,  49% say they have been named in 2-5 lawsuits in their careers. The profession with the least amount of lawsuits was Dental hygenist or assistant, with 45 claims in the past nine years.

Total US Medical Malpractice Reports by Practitioner Type

Medical malpractice is an extremely common lawsuit in the United States, as seen in these statistics. Every state follows different laws so it is important that if you believe your medical professional was negligent and you left injured, make sure to look at the statute limitations in your state so that you are not left with no options. The longer you wait to get information the lower the chances are for you to be compensated. Despite the statistics shown, this only accounts for reported claims, many incidents are never claimed or are squashed before people can report medical malpractice, which means the numbers could be higher than we expect.