With an estimated 215,000 people dying every year as a result of medical errors, it ranks as the third leading cause of death in the country, as reported in a study published by the National Institutes of Health (NIH). According to the study, although medical error rates are significantly higher in the U.S. than in other developed countries, less than 10% of medical errors are reported.

The Swanson Law Group: The lawyer the insurance companies hope you don’t hire

Our core values at The Swanson Law Group are client service, empathy, resolve, team, and results. We take care of our clients and take down insurance companies. Our talented legal team has recovered more than $100 million in settlements and awards for injured people we have represented. If you believe you have been injured through medical malpractice, contact our office to schedule a free consultation. We can tell you if you have a case and what damages you may be entitled to claim.

What are the latest statistics on medical malpractice payouts?

In 2019, the most recent year for which statistics are available, total insurance payouts for medical malpractice claims increased by 9.23% over the previous year, as reported in the Diederich Healthcare 2020 Medical Malpractice Payout Analysis.

Types of medical errors

Medical malpractice insurance companies paid out a total of $4,396,505,050 for claims based on medical errors in:

  • Diagnosis: 34%
  • Surgery: 22%
  • Treatment: 21%
  • Obstetrics: 10%
  • Medication: 4%
  • Anesthesia: 4%
  • Other: 6%

Severity of medical malpractice injuries

Categorized according to severity of outcome, percentages of this astronomical medical malpractice payout sum were for medical errors resulting in:

  • Death: 28%
  • Significant permanent injury: 21%
  • Major permanent injury: 20%
  • Quadriplegic, brain damage, lifelong care: 13%
  • Major temporary injury: 7%
  • Minor permanent injury: 7%
  • Other: 4%
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How does California law define medical malpractice?

Under the California Code of Civil Procedure, professional negligence (medical malpractice) is defined as follows at CCP Section 340.5: “ ‘Professional negligence’ means a negligent act or omission by a healthcare provider in the rendering of professional services, which act or omission is the proximate cause of a personal injury or wrongful death, provided that such services are within the scope of services for which the provider is licensed and which are not within any restriction imposed by the licensing agency or licensed hospital.”

How long do you have to file a medical malpractice claim in San Jose?

The statute of limitations (time limit imposed by law) for filing a medical malpractice claim in California is three years after the date of injury or one year after the injured person discovers the injury or should have discovered the injury through reasonable diligence — whichever comes first. In certain cases, the time limit for filing a claim may be extended if there is proof of fraud, there was intentional concealment, or a foreign body with no therapeutic or diagnostic purpose is present in the injured person.

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How do you recover compensation for medical malpractice injuries?

If you have been seriously injured through medical malpractice, you may have a claim for compensation against the negligent provider. To recover damages for your injuries, you must show that:

  • A doctor-patient relationship existed between you and the negligent provider.
  • The provider’s negligence caused your injuries.
  • Your injuries led to specific damages such as medical bills, lost work, and pain and suffering.
  • The provider was negligent in your diagnosis or treatment. You must show that the doctor failed to meet the standard of care (caused you harm in a way that a competent doctor would not have done under the same or similar circumstances).

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