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What are some important facts about medical malpractice?

As a patient and victim of medical malpractice, it is important to seek out information on how you can file a lawsuit. You might think medical malpractice doesn't happen very often or that your case is built on shaky ground, but medical mistakes and errors do happen. In fact, medical malpractice is a fairly common issue.

In 19 percent of medical malpractice cases, it's OB-GYNs who are defendants. General surgeons are defendants in 17 percent of cases and primary care physicians make up 16 percent of defendants. In total, the average compensation awarded for a claim is $363,000. An outpatient claim runs right around $290,000.

Reviews of inpatient care lawsuits have suggested that around 34 percent of medical malpractice claims are a result of surgical errors. Outpatient care claim reviews have shown that it's diagnostic errors that are the issue for outpatients, with 46 percent of cases a result of those errors.

A study of medical malpractice claims showed that around 60 percent of victims are female. They are, on average, only 38 years old when they suffer a medical mistake. Maybe most surprising is that 20 percent of victims are newborns. Only 12 percent of those who suffer from medical malpractice are ages 65 or older.

If you don't want to head to court over the errors that you've suffered from, you may be glad to know that most medical malpractice cases are settled out of court. Medical malpractice insurance companies tend to reject large portions of medical malpractice claims, so if you get a settlement offer out of court, it may be a good idea to at least review the offer with your attorney before deciding if you want to take the case to trial.

Source: NewsWire, "Medical Malpractice on the Increase," Sara Williams, accessed Oct. 20, 2016

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