Each year, people across Massachusetts face pain, hardship and loss because of medical malpractice. Furthermore, medical malpractice is an expensive issue that contributes to healthcare costs.
Understanding the statistics that describe the prevalence of medical malpractice in Massachusetts and its effects can help patients stay informed.
How common is it in Massachusettes?
Mistakes in healthcare are unfortunately common, with almost 20% of patients reporting a recent medical error in a survey. Massachusetts healthcare providers are equally likely to make mistakes as those in other states. Additionally, the prevalence of medical errors has not changed significantly over the past two decades.
In 2021, there were 199 payouts associated with medical malpractice cases in Massachusetts. The total sum of these payments was over $120 million. On average, the payout for a medical malpractice case in Massachusetts was around $600,000.
What is the impact of medical errors?
Mistakes in healthcare can contribute to medical spending, resulting in follow-up costs as high as $617 million per year in Massachusetts. Furthermore, medical errors can result in long-term suffering, mental anguish and physical pain for patients. Some victims of medical malpractice face disfigurement or disability. Serious medical errors can even cause fatalities.
Common healthcare mistakes that lead to medical malpractice suits include medication errors, surgical errors and incorrect diagnoses. Patients who receive improper or inadequate treatment can also take legal action against providers. Finally, birth injuries that harm babies and mothers sometimes lead to medical malpractice litigation.
Medical malpractice is a serious issue that impacts many people annually in Massachusetts. Patients harmed during medical care should understand their options for seeking compensation.