Recent data released by the National Practitioner Data Bank (NPDB), a United States Department of Health and Human Services computer database, indicates that medical malpractice payout amounts throughout the country are increasing annually. In some states, these increases are over 100%.
The NPDB’s annual report of medical malpractice payouts analyzes medical malpractice claims from 2004 through 2018, indicating important trends in payout amounts throughout the country. The payouts covered by the report’s 14-year term were the result of settlements 96.5% of the time, with only 3.5%, and $142,569,750 in total payments, resulting from court judgments. Thus, having a medical malpractice attorney experienced in settling medical negligence claims would be a wise course of action for any plaintiff with a viable claim. Powell Law’s attorneys have this level of experience and expertise.
Approximately $4,031,987,700 was paid to plaintiffs in medical malpractice lawsuits in 2018, representing a 2.91% increase from 2017. However, this amount significantly fluctuated during the report’s 14-year period.
The year with the highest total payouts for medical malpractice claims was 2004, totaling almost $4.6 billion. This number steadily decreased over the next eight years and bottomed out at approximately $3.5 billion in 2012.
It maintained consistent increases over the next six years, with gains of nearly $200 million each year from 2012 to 2014.
In 2017, the average malpractice payment was just less than $300,000. In 2018, this rose to $348,065. In 2014, the average malpractice amount was over $250,000 and rose to approximately $300,000 for the next few years.
Whereas the total payout amount varied significantly from 2004 through 2018, the average payments fluctuated less and remained comparatively steady. However, these average payout amounts may not accurately represent any true trends since the average medical malpractice payouts by state widely vary.
New York is at the top of the list, with its 2018 average payout of $446,461. One thousand five hundred thirty-five claims (1,535) claims were paid in New York, totaling $685,317,000, and representing an 11% increase from 2017.
Pennsylvania was next, in second place, with an average payout of $405,978. Nine hundred nine (909) claims were paid in Pennsylvania, totaling $369,034,250.
Many states experienced payout increases in 2018 from the previous year of over 100%. These states included Minnesota (101%), South Dakota (199%), and Vermont (486%). The largest average decreases were in Mississippi (41%), Hawaii (60%), Washington D.C. (76%), and North Dakota (81%).
Using the data from 2018 as a means of predicting the future, it is likely that 2019 and beyond will experience a relative increase in total medical malpractice payout amounts. The United States is likely to continue an upward trend in terms of medical malpractice litigation, maintaining the need for experienced medical malpractice attorneys.
If you or a loved one has suffered an injury resulting from any type of medical error, contact Powell Law at (570) 961-0777. Our decades of experience make us the clear and obvious choice for all types of legal representation in the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre and surrounding areas. The consultation is FREE, and you don’t pay anything unless we win. Our attorneys, past and present, have represented motor vehicle accident victims for 113 years. Call today!