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 statistics are the likelihood of a successful verdict:
Failed Sterilization 35%
Foreign Objects 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, the plaintiffs 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 will 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.
Hospitals also value their reputations and newspaper articles of juries finding they made a mistake that gravely hurt or killed someone are bad for business.