Breaking Down Medical Malpractice Damage Awards

Making an occasional mistake at work is unfortunately a common occurrence for many employees, no matter what their career. However, when you make a mistake, you learn from it and move on. No harm, no foul. Right? Well, this mentality is all well and good if you make a spelling error or forget to clock out when you’ve finished your shift. Unfortunately, doctors do not have the luxury of saying “Oops. Sorry. I’ll do better next time.” When a doctor makes a mistake, people end up permanently disabled or dead.

Unfortunately, medical “mistakes” (misdiagnosis, surgical error, negligence, mistakes in prescribing or administering medication, etc.) occur more often than you may think. Every year in Virginia, an average of 200 malpractice cases are brought to trial, with nearly 10 percent of them reaching settlements of over one million dollars. And these are only the cases that made it to trial. The actual number of malpractice incidents that occur each year is hotly debated, however, we can get an idea of the consequences of medical errors by looking at these documented court cases.

Statistical Breakdown of Successful Malpractice Suits

Although there are many ways a doctor, nurse, hospital, or caregiver could cause injury, according to Becker’s Hospital Review, the largest percentage of malpractice payouts nationwide in 2013 were made for malpractice related to diagnosis at 33%. Other payouts were as follows: 

  • Related to surgery: 24%
  • Related to treatment: 18%
  • Related to obstetrics: 11%
  • Related to medication: 4%
  • Related to monitoring: 3%
  • Related to anesthesia: 3%
  • Other: 4%

Payouts were made most frequently for malpractice leading to death (31%), but the following conditions also received compensation:

  • Significant permanent injuries: 19%
  • Major permanent injuries: 18%
  • Quadriplegia, brain damage, and lifelong care: 12%
  • Minor permanent injuries: 8%
  • Major temporary injuries: 7%
  • Minor temporary injuries: 3%
  • Emotional and psychological injuries:1.6%

Share This Data to Protect Your Friends and Family

Make sure your family and friends are aware of their malpractice risks, before it’s too late. Use your social media to share this page with them via Facebook or tell them to contact us directly to discuss any potential questions or concerns they may have about malpractice claims. Remember, they may not know their potential risks or options until it is too late to do anything about it. Share the knowledge to prevent future injustices.


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