Medical malpractice causes thousands of injuries and deaths every year. Here are the facts you should be aware of.
• Medical malpractice is the third most common cause of death in the United States, after heart disease and cancer, according to research published in the Journal of Patient Safety, which estimates that up to 440,000 Americans die each year from preventable mistakes in hospitals.
• The annual costs to society for medical errors is estimated to be up to $29 billion, and may be much higher.
• Only one out of every eight preventable medical mistakes in hospitals nationwide results in a claim of malpractice.
• In Florida, from 1996 through 1999, there were 19,885 incidents of medical errors reported by hospitals, and 3,177 claims of medical malpractice. This reflects a rate of only one out of every six errors resulting in a claim.
• The actual rate of medical malpractice may be higher than reports indicate, because medical errors are believed to be severely underreported.
• From 1995 to 2000, there was a 4 percent decline in new medical malpractice claims. In 1995, there were 90,212 claims filed; in 2000 there were 86,480 claims filed.
• If you were inured or lost a loved one as the result of medical malpractice, you may be entitled to compensation. Contact us for a free consultation to learn more about your rights.