A new study reveals that the payout for successful medical malpractice claims has increased, while the number of lawsuits has decreased. The study reviewed cases filed over the course of the last 20 years, and notes a decline by a little over 56% in lawsuits filed, with an average increase in payout up to $353,000. The payout amounts vary by type of specialty. Some attribute the decrease to tort reform, which has capped the amount which may be paid for non-economic damages.
In California, this limit is $250,000. As a result of the arbitrary figure, many classes of potential plaintiffs – including children and the elderly – may find the expense in pursuing a medical malpractice claim not worth it. Additionally, some groups cite improved safety measures at hospitals the reason for the decline in claims. However, statistics show that medical mistakes remain a leading cause of death in the United States. The failure to diagnose is the leading cause of medical negligence.
For more information or if you believe you have been harmed by medical negligence, please contact our experienced Los Angeles medical malpractice lawyers for an immediate consultation.