Medical malpractice may not be particularly common, but it also affects plenty of people every year. Medical malpractice lawsuits are critical pieces of civil litigation because the victims need financial compensation in the wake of a medical error or botched medical procedure that caused them pain and made them suffer through extensive (and unnecessary) treatment.

A new study found that medical malpractice lawsuits may be on the decline. More specifically, the study found that medical malpractice claims that paid out have gone down significantly. The number of claims paid by physicians dropped by 55.7 percent from 1992 to 2014. That doesn’t necessarily mean that the number of claims has gone down — it could be an indicator that the rules over the years have shifted to favor the defendants in a medical malpractice case more than the plaintiff.

The study also found that a misdiagnosis is the most common reason for a person to file a medical malpractice claim. About 31.8 percent of claims involved a misdiagnosis, followed by 26.9 percent of claims involving a surgical error. 24.5 percent of claims involved an error with medical treatment. Another interesting statistic is that 32 percent of paid claims involved patients who died.

Medical malpractice claims are complex pieces of litigation that require extensive research, investigation and preparation. Having an experienced medical malpractice attorney to help you during this time is crucial, so get in touch with a lawyer as soon as you can.

Source: UPI, “Study finds decline in medical malpractice claims,” Amy Wallace, March 27, 2017