Which States Have the Highest Number of Medical Malpractice Cases and Why?
A doctor is a doctor, no matter what state he practices medicine, right? This month, we examine which states have the highest number of medical malpractice cases filed each year against doctors and the reasons behind it.
Recent research from Zippia in conjunction with numbers from the National Practitioner Data Bank reveal which states have the highest and lowest number of malpractice suits per hundreds of thousands of residents. Louisiana, it turns out, is the worst place to practice medicine owing to its astronomically high rates of patients filing malpractice suits. On the other hand, tropical and sunny Hawaii holds the crown when it comes to the least number of suits.
The curious case of high malpractice suits in Louisiana is due to a number of factors that we’ll take a look at shortly. That being said, it’s important to point out that damages in malpractice cases are capped at $500,000 in this state. However, the state offers unlimited coverage when it comes to future medical expenses, making it more likely for people to file a claim since they know they will be taken care of if the error caused complications that may last a lifetime. In addition, a large number of patients usually ask a panel of medical reviewers to go over their complaints; up to 1600 people do this on a yearly basis. There are 23,000 medical professionals in the state licensed to look into these complaints, which brings the complaints percentage rate to 7 percent per professional.
Hawaii is the most favorable state for doctors looking to escape sometimes frivolous medical malpractice claims. However, the high payout ($375,000 per claim which exempts economic losses) could be due to a number of factors such as stringent insurance laws as well as doctors being held to a much higher standard. In addition, one could posit that patients aren’t provided with the needed information to file these kinds of lawsuits when they suffer an injury, or the legal community hasn’t laid a lot of groundwork with regard to its presence at it relates to medical malpractice as well as civil education.
As a patient, knowledge of the medical malpractice laws can give you an upper hand when it comes to negotiations, even when working with your attorney. It is important to note that medical errors can leave lasting physical complications and emotional scars that will take time to fade. It is thus important to go for the maximum amount in terms of compensation so you can face the future with confidence despite your health issues.