New York Law School’s Center for Justice & Democracy (CJ&D) issued a press release in September 2014 on its updated briefing book, MEDICAL MALPRACTICE: BY THE NUMBERS.
The book is the third update since CJ&D started compiling statistics and research on topics related to medical malpractice. The book is written with integrity in that iy contains 500 footnotes referencing sources.
Issues in the 110 pages include: medical malpractice litigation, "defensive medicine," medical malpractice insurance, and patient safety.
The press release summarized the research discussions to include:
* Medical malpractice insurance companies are making twice the profit of the entire property/casualty insurance industry. In fact, the med mal insurance industry has had seven years of underwriting profit - something completely unheard of in the property/casualty sector. (Page 53.)
* After Texas enacted severe limits on medical malpractice lawsuits, including "caps" on damages, rates of preventable errors rose, "consistent with hospitals gradually relaxing (or doing less to reinforce) patient safety standards." (Page 83.)
* "On any given day, approximately one in 25 U.S. patients has at least one infection contracted during the course of their hospital care." (Page 65.)
* "An average of 103,000 doctors, nurses, medical technicians and health care aides a year were abusing or dependent on illicit drugs." (Page 7.)
* Medical malpractice premiums are not rising; other factors are contributing to the plight of physicians, specifically "health insurers that clamp down on the size of physician fees and deny payment for services that they deem unnecessary." (Page 56.)
Reading the book, and getting to know the statistics behind why Americans are killed or injured by avoidable medical errors can make a difference in deciding whether to file a lawsuit, and how well someone will do in litigation. Knowing the numbers provides strategic insight and in-depth analysis of doctors and juries. According to one study on page 17, juries agree with expert reviewers in eighty to ninety percent of cases. Defendants do well in the courtroom when they have better litigation teams or jury reluctance to find doctors liable.
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