Medical Malpractice Recovery Rates for Surgical Negligence and Improper Medication

Medical malpractice plaintiffs receive a median award of $934,487 for medical malpractice claims involving surgical negligence and improper medication, according to a recent Jury Verdict Research study that looked at malpractice cases nationally in the last seven years. Plaintiffs have a 36% chance of prevailing in these cases. The following is the listing of different types of cases and the corresponding likelihood of recovery.

Failed Sterilization 35%
Catheterization 39%
Foreign Object Left in Body 66%
Lack of Informed Consent 25%
Postsurgical Infection 43%
In Maryland, there has not been a study of medical malpractice claims that breaks out the likelihood for different types of malpractice claims as Jury Verdict Research has done nationally. In Maryland health care negligence claims overall, Plaintiff’s prevail 8% of the time with an average recovery of $806,772.

But I think the reason for the low figure is not that Maryland juries are tough on medical malpractice victims or that they are willing to give doctors a pass on their negligence (although this certainly happens in some medical malpractice cases). Instead, I think Medical Mutual, the largest medical malpractice carrier in Maryland, has a history of settling cases if it is a good case.

Updated:
  • These studies really highlight the fact that these cases must be advanced after a thorough and careful investigation considering the investment of resources it takes to properly prosecute a medical malpractice case.

    Of interest to readers in this area of law, you might want to look at “Medical Malpractice and the American Jury” by Neil Vidmar, Duke University Law Professor & Social Psychology. I have included a review of his book: “Neil Vidmar looks beyond the common perceptions of medical malpractice litigation and finds a system that is fair, impartial, and intelligent. Firmly grounded in a wealth of empirical data, the author presents a fresh look at a civil jury system that has been maligned as out-of-touch, capricious, and disposed to awarding exorbitant, unjustified amounts to plaintiffs whenever they have the opportunity. In an era when tort reform is high on the congressional agenda, Medical Malpractice and the American Jury is almost alone in voicing reason and fact.

    Written in a thoroughly inviting, jargon-free style, Medical Malpractice and the American Jury places those cases that go to trial in the broader context of litigation, noting that only about ten percent of malpractice cases ever result in trials. Of those that do go to trial, the author notes, more than two out of three cases are decided in the doctor’s favor–repudiating the view that jurors are inherently biased against doctors and are motivated more by sympathy for the plaintiff than by the facts of the case.

    Neil Vidmar comprehensively addresses all the claims that have been leveled against the performance of malpractice juries. For example, he compares actual jury decisions on negligence with neutral physicians’ ratings of whether negligence occurred in the medical treatment and finds a remarkable consistency–repudiating the view that jurors are unable to understand experts or uncritically defer to their opinion.”

    A good read for those of us advocating on behalf of victims of medical malpractice.

    Very Truly Yours,
    Gabriel A. Riveros
    Toll Free Number 866-425-9555; E-mail: gabrielriveros@comcast.net

  • These studies really highlight the fact that these cases must be advanced after a thorough and careful investigation considering the investment of resources it takes to properly prosecute a medical malpractice case.

    Of interest to readers in this area of law, you might want to look at “Medical Malpractice and the American Jury” by Neil Vidmar, Duke University Law Professor & Social Psychology. I have included a review of his book: “Neil Vidmar looks beyond the common perceptions of medical malpractice litigation and finds a system that is fair, impartial, and intelligent. Firmly grounded in a wealth of empirical data, the author presents a fresh look at a civil jury system that has been maligned as out-of-touch, capricious, and disposed to awarding exorbitant, unjustified amounts to plaintiffs whenever they have the opportunity. In an era when tort reform is high on the congressional agenda, Medical Malpractice and the American Jury is almost alone in voicing reason and fact.

    Written in a thoroughly inviting, jargon-free style, Medical Malpractice and the American Jury places those cases that go to trial in the broader context of litigation, noting that only about ten percent of malpractice cases ever result in trials. Of those that do go to trial, the author notes, more than two out of three cases are decided in the doctor’s favor–repudiating the view that jurors are inherently biased against doctors and are motivated more by sympathy for the plaintiff than by the facts of the case.

    Neil Vidmar comprehensively addresses all the claims that have been leveled against the performance of malpractice juries. For example, he compares actual jury decisions on negligence with neutral physicians’ ratings of whether negligence occurred in the medical treatment and finds a remarkable consistency–repudiating the view that jurors are unable to understand experts or uncritically defer to their opinion.”

    A good read for those of us advocating on behalf of victims of medical malpractice.

    Very Truly Yours,
    Gabriel A. Riveros
    Toll Free Number 866-425-9555; E-mail: gabrielriveros@comcast.net

  • debbie amis

    i have been trying to get a lawsuit but i cant because the doctor messed me up real bad and i have a lot of organs damaged. can you help i am running out of time. my time is up 3/19/2009

  • Sharon Hart

    Is there a time limit set in Maryland for when one can establish a medical manpractice/negligence case?

    Thanks for responding.

  • Ron Miller

    Yes, but the period of time varies – typically but not always from three to five years for an adult – from case to case depending upon the facts.

  • Georgette

    Nov. 29 i had surgery under my right underarm. I had a drain tube that was not removed in a week time by the doctor. I ended up in the emergency room on IV for an accute infection. The infection caused the stitches to break. I was left with a large painful open wound. apprx. 6months. later while getting follow-ups and treated with silver the wound never healed. I was told by the PA I would need a skin graft. However the surgeon repeated a debriement w/o skin graft. The PA treated me again with silver. The wound is bigger and stop healing after almost 5weeks after surgery. I have lost so much time off work approx. 10weeks of leave and the problem is still here. I suffer from pain and ability to care for myself and children as a result of this poor medical care.

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