Statistics from 2012 reveal that approximately 48 percent of all medical malpractice payouts go to just five different states. That year, a total of $3.6 billion was paid out in malpractice suits, and five states (New York, Pennsylvania, California, New Jersey and Florida) were the subject of the bulk of those payouts. On the opposite end of the spectrum, Indiana, Mississippi, North Dakota, Texas and Wisconsin had the lowest payouts per capita.
New York had by far the most, with $763,088,250 paid out in malpractice suits — more than twice as much as second-place Pennsylvania. About 93 percent of the money paid out in all malpractice suits was the result of settling the case out of court.
The types of malpractice claims were fairly evenly spread out. Most common were malpractice cases related to diagnosis errors (33 percent), followed by surgical errors (24 percent), treatment errors (18 percent) and obstetrics errors (11 percent).
North Carolina also finds itself among the states with the smallest payments per capita. A large part of this is due to the cap that was implemented on non-economic damages in the state. Currently, malpractice plaintiffs can receive a maximum of $500,000 in non-economic damages in settlements and judgments. This cap came as part of 2011 reforms in the state, which also included a greater burden of proof for all Emergency Medical Treatment & Labor Act (EMTALA) providers in malpractice cases. Virginia, meanwhile, has a damage cap, but at $2 million it really does not limit noneconomic awards too much.
If you believe that you or a loved one has been injured due to the negligence of a health care provider, consult the North Carolina medical malpractice lawyers of Marcari, Russotto, Spencer & Balaban Call us at (888) 351-1038 or contact us online today to schedule a free consultation.
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