Every year, an estimated 98,000 people die because of medical malpractice and an untold number more are injured, forced to live with daily pain because of some else’s mistake.

Important Facts About Medical Malpractice


According to the Institute of Medicine, medical errors kill 98,000 Americans every year, more than those killed by breast cancer, prostate cancer, and drunk driving combined, and the equivalent of two 737s crashing every day.


Medical malpractice is entirely preventable. Human error is behind almost 80% of adverse events in complex healthcare systems, making it the sixth leading cause of preventable death in America.


Medical malpractice claims and insurance premiums have almost no impact on healthcare costs. Medical malpractice premiums are less than one-half of 1 percent of overall healthcare costs.


Compensation for medical malpractice accounts for only 0.3 percent of America’s $2.2 trillion in healthcare spending. Meanwhile, the annual cost of treating preventable medical errors is a staggering $29 billion.

Recent News

Fewer Medical Malpractice Lawsuits Succeed, But Payouts Are Up

CBS News March 28, 2017 The rate of paid medical malpractice claims in the United States has declined significantly, dropping nearly 56 percent between 1992 and 2014, researchers report. At the same time, the average payout for successful malpractice claims rose about 23 percent — topping $353,000 in 2009-2014, up from about $287,000 during the 1992-1996 period, the study found. These two trends could reflect the influence of tort reform on malpractice lawsuits, said lead author Dr. Adam Schaffer, an instructor at Harvard Medical School. Laws that limit, or cap, damage claims could make it tough to find an attorney…

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Transforming Medical Malpractice With Technological Discovery

The Legal Intelligencer April 11, 2017 Medical malpractice cases need to be investigated like a medical examination; one that includes the taking of current complaints, a medical history, a physical examination and a differential diagnosis. Since the medical field is in flux, the attorney must appreciate that medicine is changing through technological innovation, instant communication and electronic health record implementation. For the start of our legal examination, we must understand the current complaint: medical errors. Medical error is the third leading cause of death in the United States. Deaths from medical errors are almost eight times greater than deaths from…

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For Malpractice Reform, Focus on Medicine First (Not Law)

The New York Times April 17, 2017 Congressional Republicans have recently revived efforts to overhaul malpractice laws, including capping certain kinds of suits at $250,000. A perennial argument of supporters of such measures is that many claims are frivolous, clogging the court system and driving up health care costs for everyone. But does the evidence support this? You don’t have to look too hard to find backing for the notion that some malpractice claims lack merit. A 2006 New England Journal of Medicine study reviewed a random sample of 1,452 claims from five malpractice insurers. Its authors found that 37…

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