Predicting the Value of Medical Malpractice Cases

A post on the Illinois Trial Practice Blog discusses a product for malpractice attorneys called>MedMal Reports. This company generates a report based on the payout reported in the National Practitioner’s Data Bank. Reporting of settlements and verdicts is mandatory so the data is not skewed the way published verdict reports favor those medical malpractice lawyers who seek publication.

The theory is that payouts in these cases are largely predictable. Of course, the question is what variables should be included in the calculus. Interestingly, the company believes that there is not enough focus on the defendant in valuing medical malpractice cases, citing the following facts:

(1) The number of defendants has an impact on value. The more defendants, the higher the total recovery in medical malpractice cases;
(2) The defendant’s job and age impacts the value of medical malpractice cases. Apparently, the data shows that physicians pay more than residents and older doctors pay less than younger doctors; and
(3) The accusations themselves matter. For example, doctors accused of altering medical records pay on average double the settlement/verdict.

These are certainly interesting observations. Anyone who reads this blog knows I am a big fan of statistical calculations to predict value. But, obviously, it is impossible to use data to predict the value of any specific health provider liability case. But for $320, I think it is worth taking a look at in the right case.

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