Medical malpractice, unfortunately, occurs far too frequently. As far back as 2001, a study published in The Journal of the American Medical Association said, “The number of deaths in U.S. hospitals that are reportedly due to medical errors is disturbingly high.”
By some accounts, medical negligence is now the third leading cause of death in the United States with 30 percent of all medical malpractice payouts related to a death. And the amount of payouts is growing every year. Medical malpractice payouts totaled nearly $3.9 billion in 2014.
However, medical malpractice doesn’t always result in a death. Countless others may experience minor, major or permanent injuries because of a health care provider’s actions or lack of action.
An analysis conducted by Diederich Healthcare found the following average payouts in 2014 based upon an individual’s injury.
- $944,664 for quadriplegic, brain damage or injury requiring life care
- $574,344 for a major permanent injury
- $231,377 for a minor permanent injury
- $104,892 for an emotional injury only
- $33,696 for an insignificant injury
Not every medical injury is the result of malpractice, but if your injury can be attributed to a health care provider’s mistake, the law may entitle you to compensation. This compensation may include payment for lost income, medical bills, loss of enjoyment of life, physical/mental pain and suffering, or punitive damages.
You may not know if your case qualifies for compensation until you’ve talked with a medical malpractice lawyer. However, your state may have a statute of limitations which means you could miss your opportunity for compensation if you wait too long.