10 Surprising Facts for Medical Malpractice Awareness Month
July 2, 2020
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Spreading Awareness About Medical Errors in the United States

The United States has one of the most advanced healthcare systems in the world – and yet despite our collective technological and medical knowledge, medical negligence continues to be a serious problem among healthcare professionals. According to a report published by The Commonwealth Fund in 2017, our healthcare system continually ranks last in patient outcomes (when compared to other high-income countries.) Another oft-cited study by Johns Hopkins University suggests that medical error may be the third leading cause of death in the U.S., causing up to 250,000 deaths and many more injuries per year through misdiagnosis and mistake.

Because July is Medical Malpractice Awareness Month, we’re taking a moment to review some other facts you may not have known about medical malpractice. At Ashcraft & Gerel, we believe it’s important to spread awareness about this problem and help victims get the compensation they deserve.

Here are 10 surprising facts about medical negligence and error in the U.S.:

  1. The Johns Hopkins study mentioned above also suggests that over 10% of all U.S. deaths involve some form of medical malpractice or error.
  2. In a survey of over 3,000 physicians from the U.S. and Canada, at least 92% reported that they had been involved in medical errors and near-misses.
  3. 1 in 25 patients will develop a preventable infection during their stay in the hospital or another healthcare setting.
  4. Medicare patients are much more vulnerable to medical negligence, with 1 in 4 experiencing injury or death after hospital admission.
  5. Experts believe that human failures are behind 80 to 90% of all medical errors.
  6. Misdiagnosis and delayed diagnosis are the most common causes cited in medical malpractice lawsuits.
  7. It’s estimated that 33% of all seniors in skilled nursing facilities experience adverse health events – and the majority of these are preventable with the right care.
  8. The rate of successful medical malpractice claims significantly decreased between 1992 and 2014, falling 55.7% during that twenty-year period.
  9. Even when plaintiffs have strong evidence of medical negligence, the court sides with the physician 50% of the time.
  10. The previous study also found that up to 90% of all defensible medical malpractice claims are dropped without payment to the patient.

According to statistics provided by Power Rogers, a medical malpractice law firm based in Chicago, the most common types of medical malpractice claims in the U.S. stem from diagnostic errors, surgery errors, treatment errors, birth errors, medication errors, and monitoring errors.

Medical Malpractice: Top Causes


As you can see from the statistics above, there is a reason that groups like the National Medical Malpractice Advocacy Association (NMMAA) are fighting to increase awareness about this issue. With so many people suffering injuries, neglect, abuse, and even death in our healthcare system every year, it is critical that we hold negligent professionals accountable when they do not meet the standard of care.

Serving clients in Washington DC, Maryland, and Virginia, our attorneys have been fighting for the rights of the injured for more than 65 years now. Medical malpractice law may be extremely complex, but with a long track record of multi-million dollar settlements and verdicts in this area, our legal team has the proven skills to help you determine when you have a claim. We recently received a $2,300,900 verdict for our client in a medical malpractice trial. And this year the leader of our medical malpractice team was awarded Trial Lawyer of the Year by the DC Trial Lawyers Association. Contact Ashcraft & Gerel today at (866) 709-0505 to explore your legal options with a qualified lawyer. We offer free consultations.