Every day North Carolina residents put their trust in doctors and nurses. Trust that they will be properly diagnosed and their ailments properly treated. So what happens if that trust is violated resulting in a decrease in the quality of life or, in the most severe cases, the loss of life altogether.
In a summary of its analysis of medical malpractice payouts in 2014 as recorded by the National Practitioner Data Bank, the medical malpractice insurance agency Diederich Healthcare said “After seeing a steady decline in medical malpractice payout amounts from 2003 through 2012, malpractice payouts started to rise in 2013 and continued to rise at a steady pace in 2014 – marking a trend of increased medical malpractice payouts in the United States.
“In fact, if the trend continues, 2015 could be the year that the United States crosses the $4 billion threshold. … Most states saw an increase – particularly states in the South and the Northeast.”
Facts about Medical Malpractice
- Medical malpractice is one of the biggest killers in American, coming in second to heart disease and cancer. According to data sourced from a report in the Journal of Patient Safety, mistakes and negligence in hospitals kill 200,000 to 400,000 patients each year. It is important to remember that this is only an estimate.
- Medical malpractice claims are directly proportional. This means that the larger sums of money are paid to the most catastrophic of injuries, those that are lifelong in nature. The less severe the physical damage is to the victim, the smaller the chances of the claim resulting in any significant payout.
- Unsurprisingly, the medical field of obstetrics, the branch of medicine and surgery concerning childbirth and the care of pregnant women, routinely attracts the largest number of medical malpractice claims on an annual basis.
- Surgical errors are the most frequently occurring errors in medical malpractice lawsuits. The most common types of surgical errors include surgery that was entirely unnecessary, surgery performed on the wrong part of the body (amputating the right foot instead of the left foot, for example), an infection caused by surgery due to the use of contaminated devices and instruments during the surgery, surgery causing damage to another otherwise healthy, viable organ, and the wrong dosage of anesthesia being administered.
Most Common Medical Malpractice Errors
In 2014, according to Diederich Healthcare, the most frequent medical malpractice mistakes that resulted in actual payouts were:
- Diagnostic error (33%)
- Wrong surgery (24%)
- Treatment (19%)
- Obstetrics (11%)
- Medication (5%)
- Other (4%)
- Monitoring (3%)
Top Five Medical Errors and the Average Payout for Each
- Death: 30% – $355,231
- Significant permanent injury: 18% – $426,918
- Major permanent injury: 17% – $574,344
- Quadriplegic/brain damage/lifelong care: 13% – $944,664
- Minor permanent injury: 9% – $231,377
If you or someone that you love has been the victim of medical malpractice in North Carolina and were left with life-altering or even lifelong injuries, then you need to reach out to the attorneys here at the Nye Law Group right away.
If you would like to receive a free consultation regarding the specific details of your case, then please go ahead and give us a call here at (912) 200-5230 today and we would be happy to speak with you.