These statistics aren’t meant to scare you, although they probably will, what we really want is for you to be aware of both how common medical negligence really is, and how rare it is for patients to take legal action when they are harmed. When patients do not act, they miss out on the compensation that could, in the very least, offset the crushing medical bills that so often send people into bankruptcy and worse. They also miss the opportunity to do something that could potentially prevent harm from coming to more patients.
Medical Error is the Third Leading Cause of Death in the US
According to a study published in 2016 by John Hopkins Medicine, medical error is the third leading cause of death in the U.S., falling only behind heart disease and cancer. The study estimates that there are 250,000 deaths caused by medical error each year, 10% of all U.S. deaths.
21% of Adults Have Personally Experienced A Medical Error
In 2017, the IHI/NPSF Lucian Leape Institute and NORC at the University of Chicago released the results of a national survey in which 21% of adults said they had personally experienced a medical error. 31% reported being personally involved with the care of someone else who had experienced a medical error.
The survey also found that medical errors often have a lasting impact on patients in one or more of the following areas:
- Physical health
- Emotional health
- Family relationships
- Financial well-being
99% of the Time, No Claim is Filed
Medical malpractice victims face a high financial and high personal cost, but they rarely take legal action. Yet, according a commentary published in JAMA, on the state of medical error and the path to a solution, “only about 1% of adverse events due to medical negligence result in a claim.”
If you know or suspect that your injuries were caused by medical negligence, please contact an experienced medical malpractice attorney near you.