Ohio law requires that all insurance entities that provide medical malpractice liability insurance to medical providers in Ohio to report data to the Ohio Department of Insurance regarding medical malpractice claims that close during the year. The reports must include the costs of defending medical malpractice claims and the costs of paying judgments and settlements on behalf of health care providers. The Ohio Department of Insurance is then required to provide to the Ohio General Assembly on an annual basis a summary of closed claim data on a statewide basis.
For 2009, a total of 3,344 claims were reported by 99 entities. Most medical malpractice claims resulted in no payment to the claimant. 76% of the claims (2,542) did not result in an indemnity payment while 24% (802) resulted in payment. The total payments to claimants was $258,370,436, with an average payment of $322,158 per claim.
The expenses incurred with regard to all medical malpractice claims closed, whether a payment was made to the claimant or not, which includes expenses such as investigation expenses and defense attorneys fees and expenses, totaled $107,739,769, with an average of $39,350 per claim.
The amounts paid to claimants increased with the age of the claims (181 claims closed within one year of being reported had an average payment to claimants in the amount of $98,095; 233 claims closed during their second year had an average payment in the amount of $310,739; 21 claims closed seven or more years after being reported had an average payment in the amount of $833,297).
Half of the claims (1,686) came from Northeast Ohio, with one-fourth (407) resulting in payments to claimants that totalled $153,396,087. Northeast Ohio had the highest average payments to claimants ($376,895).
Internal medicine had the most claims (186 with 22 resulting in payments to claimants averaging $240,941). Neurology had the highest average payments to claimants ($1,530,218 for 6 claims out of a reported 40 claims). Obstetrics/Gynecology had the second highest average ($721,734 for 26 claims out of a reported 117 claims).
Claims involving failure to diagnose, delay in diagnosis, and misdiagnosis had the highest number of claims (145 of which 48 resulted in payments to claimants, averaging $886,405 per claim).
64.35% of the claims were dropped or dismissed without any payment to the claimants.
23.89% of the claims resulted in settlement.
5.29% of the claims were resolved by summary judgment or a directed verdict in favor of the health care providers.
1.44% closed following alternative dispute resolution, of which the majority resulted in a payment to the claimant.
5.03% of the claims ended with a verdict in which most resulted in no payments to the claimants.
For comparison purposes, in 2008, 63% of the total claims payments were the result of 13% of the claims that resulted in payments to the claimants; for 2007, 74% of the total claims payments were the result of 15% of the claims that resulted in payments to the claimants; and, in 2006, 72% of the total claims payments were the result of 15% of the claims that resulted in payments to the claimants.
Source: Ohio 2009 Medical Professional Liability Closed Claim Report
If you think that you may have a medical malpractice claim against one or more of your health care providers for the injuries and losses that you suffered in Ohio or in any other State in the United States, visit our website to be connected with medical malpractice lawyers in your local area to assist you with your claim or call us toll free at 800-295-3959.