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Payments for medical malpractice increases slightly

Everybody makes mistakes; people are only human after all. However, there are times when mistakes can cause more serious consequences than in other instances, in Illinois or in another state. This is clearly the case in the medical field where medical malpractice can result in serious injury or even death.

A recent report revealed that the number of avoidable errors in hospitals have been increasing at a troublesome rate. This is a significant concern, especially when taken into account with the results of another study released in 2013. That report estimated that over 400,000 deaths occur at an annual rate due to preventable medical negligence. This report also revealed that preventable serious non-fatal harms are 10 to 20 times more likely than fatal medical mistakes.

Despite the numerous instances of medical errors, payments for victims of medical malpractice have remained at historic lows; there was a small increase in 2013. The number of payments to victims made on behalf of physicians increased from 9,370 in 2010 to 9,677 in the following year, a relatively small increase. The payments made on behalf of physicians during 2013 was $3.3 billion, which is a slight uptick compared to $3.1 billion paid out in 2012.

Whether medical malpractice payments increased or decreased does not change the fact that an individual who is injured as a result of a medical error has the right to commence a claim for reimbursement of monetary damages in an Illinois civil court. Since the damages that could be awarded may be significant, the defendants in a medical malpractice lawsuit will be sure to vigorously defend themselves. However, experienced help is available to assess the viability of a legal claim and to it vigorously in court.

Source:, "Public Citizen Report: Medical Malpractice Payments Remain at Historic Low Despite Slight Uptick Last Year", Oct. 22, 2014

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