An analysis of the medical malpractice payouts data reported for 2011 to the National Practitioner Data Bank was performed by Diederich Healthcare, which is a national medical malpractice insurance company that provides medical malpractice insurance and consulting services to over 13,000 healthcare professionals throughout the United States.
Six states represented 51.4% of all medical malpractice payouts in the United Sates during 2011. New York had the highest total of medical malpractice payouts ($677,866,050) followed, in order, by Pennsylvania ($319,710,250), Illinois ($242,108,800), New Jersey ($221,170,750), Florida ($218,123,050), and California ($215,519,200). The states with the lowest total of medical malpractice payouts in 2011 were South Dakota ($3,033,750), Vermont ($3,938,250), Wyoming ($4,235,000), North Dakota ($4,852,500), and Alaska ($6,347,500).
The total medical malpractice payouts for 2011 was slightly lower than in 2010 (by 0.24%). Medical malpractice payouts by year have been decreasing since 2003, when the total medical malpractice payouts were the highest in the last 20 years ($4,822,485,800 in 2003).
Hawaii had the highest average medical malpractice payout ($686,509) and Indiana had the lowest average payout ($122,297).
The U.S. state with the largest number of medical malpractice payouts in 2011 was New York (1,744), followed by California (1,352), Florida (1,003), and Pennsylvania (903). The U.S. state with the fewest medical malpractice payouts in 2011 was Wyoming (11), followed by North Dakota (14), Alaska (16), and Vermont (20).
More than 36% of the medical malpractice payouts were for people from ages 40 to 59 ($737,338,400 for ages 0 to 19; $786,317,650 for ages 20 to 39: $1,351,743,100 for ages 40 to 59; $707,442,700 for ages 60 and over (ages were unavailable for people who received a total of $100,972,250 in medical malpractice payouts)).
58% of the medical malpractice payouts were for women and 42% for men.
The raw data from 2011 do not explain the bases behind the numbers. For instance, what effect have tort reform laws in various states had on the number and the amount of the medical malpractice payouts in various states? And how would the number of medical malpractice payouts and the amounts of the medical malpractice payouts have been different without such tort reform measures?
Perhaps most important to medical malpractice victims in the past and for future medical malpractice victims in various states that have varying tort reform measures in place (or will enact tort reform measures in the future) is how many medical malpractice victims have not (and will not) receive fair and adequate compensation for their injuries and losses due solely to medical malpractice recovery limitations?
One conclusion regarding the medical malpractice payouts statistics for 2011 that cannot be made is that there were less medical malpractice incidents in the United States than at any time in the past — the imposition of procedural roadblocks and the severe artificial and arbitrary limitations placed on recoverable damages for medical malpractice claims in an ever-increasing number of U.S. states mask and hide the true monetary and societal costs in lives destroyed and families’ finances ruined as a result of medical negligence committed by careless, inattentive, incompetent, uncaring, or simply negligent health care providers.
When the heavy losses and permanent injuries associated with medical malpractice affect you or your family, the prompt advice from a medical malpractice attorney may help you decide how you should proceed with your possible medical malpractice claim.
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