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What Is The Average Settlement For Medical Malpractice Lawsuit?

What Is The Average Settlement For Medical Malpractice Lawsuit

According to a LeverageRx analysis of the United States Department of Health and Human Services’ (HHS) National Practitioner Data Bank, 2018 saw an average settlement for medical malpractice lawsuits of $348,065. New York ranks as the top state for amounts paid per capita, with plaintiffs receiving an average compensation of $446,461.

Defendants in medical malpractice lawsuits in New York made 1,535 settlements totaling $685,317,000 in 2018.

Common Medical Malpractice Allegations

Patients file medical malpractice claims for any type of medical negligence by a medical professional that causes injury. The National Practitioner Data Bank reveals that in 2018, allegations for such lawsuits related to the following:

  • 34.1 percent: Diagnosis
  • 21.4 percent: Surgery
  • 21.1 percent: Treatment
  • 10.3 percent: Obstetrics
  • 4.5 percent: Medication
  • 3.3 percent: Anesthesia
  • 3.2 percent: Monitoring
  • 1.2 percent: Other
  • 0.6 percent: Equipment
  • 0.3 percent: Behavior
  • 0.1 percent: IV and blood products

Average Settlements for Medical Malpractice Lawsuits by Alleged Outcome

The amounts of settlements and judgments in medical malpractice cases correspond, in part, to the types of the plaintiffs’ injuries and the severity of their outcomes. In 2018, the average amounts by injury outcome broke down as follows:

  • Quadriplegic, brain damage, lifelong care: $961,185
  • Major permanent injury: $610,393
  • Significant permanent injury: $450,356
  • Death: $386,317
  • Minor permanent injury: $242,524
  • Major temporary injury: $227,063
  • Unknown outcome: $128,489
  • Minor temporary injury: $87,252
  • Insignificant injury: $40,030

An overwhelming majority (96.5 percent) of the compensation in these lawsuits were made via settlements. Only 3.5 percent of the compensation resulted from a court judgment.

Caps on Medical Malpractice Damages

In the U.S., more than half the states place caps on the amount of damages a plaintiff recovers from a medical malpractice lawsuit. In some states, the caps cover the combined total of all damages, while other states simply limit the amount a patient recovers for general damages.

The State of New York does not restrict how much money a patient recovers in a medical malpractice lawsuit. Only 12 other states do not place caps on damages related to these types of claims.

The purpose of damages caps in this type of lawsuit is to drive down the liability of medical professionals and lower their malpractice insurance rates. Where in place, these compensation restrictions have met with criticism, especially in the case of patients who suffer injury from medical negligence as children—and face an entire lifetime of related losses, including pain and suffering and other non-economic damages.

Types of Recoverable Damages in New York

In the case of a successful medical malpractice lawsuit, the plaintiff receives damages. However, New York is one of 13 states that recognizes the doctrine of pure comparative fault. If you contributed to your injury, the compensation you receive from your claim will be reduced proportionately to your contribution to the injury. Pure comparative fault benefits you as a plaintiff who is partially at fault for your condition. Even if the court were to find that your conduct was a significant contributing factor in the cause of your injuries, you could still recover for the percentage of fault attributable to the doctor, hospital or other treatment providers you are claiming against

Generally, damages from a lawsuit consist of actual and general damages.

These two forms of compensatory damages “reimburse” you for losses you would not have suffered had you not endured the injury from medical negligence.

Actual Damages

Under this category, you receive actual (monetary) damages, which include calculable items like:

  • Medical bills
  • Physical rehabilitation
  • Lost income from not being able to work
  • Prescription medicines

General Damages

General damages, on the other hand, consist of less tangible types of losses, including:

  • Pain and suffering
  • Mental anguish
  • Loss of consortium
  • Diminished enjoyment of life
  • Diminished future potential earnings

Your medical malpractice lawyer will calculate the various damages to be demanded in your case based on:

  • Medical records
  • Expert testimony
  • Employer wage statements

We Will Calculate Your Damages for Your Medical Malpractice Claim

The legal team at Friedman & Simon, L.L.P. are passionate advocates for the injured. Our staff of multilingual professionals is ready to assist you in your native tongue of Greek, Bengali, Tamil, Spanish, or Kannada.

Our lawyers will investigate your case to identify the medical negligence that caused your injury. We will thoroughly document all your losses, consulting with medical experts, vocational rehabilitation specialists, life care planners, and economists who support your claim. Because we work on a contingency basis, you pay us only when and if we win a settlement or judgment for your medical malpractice lawsuit.

Call Friedman & Simon, L.L.P. today at (516) 932-0400 for a free case review.

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