New Jersey in top five of highest medical malpractice payouts

By Drazin & Warshaw | May 22nd, 2013

For New Jersey residents, the diagnosis and treatment of a serious medical condition can be a very difficult and scary time. The situation is only worsened for both the affected patient and his or her family when medical malpractice results and causes unexpected negative outcomes. Despite increasing safety precautions and focus on eliminating medical errors, the number of medical malpractice claims continues to be higher than desirable.

Diederich Healthcare recently conducted an analysis of medical malpractice payouts in 2012. Over the course of the year, more than 12,000 medical malpractice payouts occurred, with the highest payouts being concentrated in only five states. New Jersey was one of the states with the highest payouts, along with New York, California, Pennsylvania, and Florida. The study indicated that the majority of the payouts resulted from settlements. Diagnosis-related allegations constituted the greatest bulk of malpractice claims. Errors related to surgery, treatment and obstetrics were the other large groups of malpractice allegations.

Medical malpractice claims can encompass a wide range of situations, including failure to diagnose and treat a condition, surgical errors, prescription errors, and birth injuries. Medical malpractice can result in death or serious lifelong injuries. While it is just reality that medical professionals are only people who sometimes make mistakes, patients harmed by these mistakes-especially when they were preventable-should not be left to bear the burden of the resulting injury alone.

If a doctor’s errors results in the death of a family’s primary financial provider, that family may suffer extreme economic hardship, along with the emotional trauma of the loss. If lifelong injuries result instead of death, the costs of the resulting needed medical treatment, often for the duration of a patient’s life, can put an enormous strain on a family. With the help of a thorough attorney and a successful medical malpractice claim, people harmed by doctor’s errors may recover the compensation they need to adequately care for their loved ones and survive, despite the financial setbacks related to the medical error.

Source: Clinical Advisor, “2012 malpractice payouts concentrated in 5 states,” Ann W. Latner, May 14, 2013

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