The Blame Game: The Truth About Medical Malpractice Lawsuits

It sometimes feels like no amount of facts and figures will ever be able to bust the myth that medical malpractice lawsuits, greedy lawyers, and Americans looking for a payday are responsible for the majority of lawsuits and for driving up the costs of healthcare and medical insurance. We’ve frequently discussed the actual drivers behind high medical malpractice premiums for doctors, as well as the reasons behind climbing health insurance premiums and the costs of medical care and tests (please see the related posts linked below for more information).

Today, we’d like to address the latest figures released regarding lawsuits filed in this country and again attempt to set the record straight on these so-called ambulance chasing lawsuits.

According to data compiled by the National Center for State Courts (NCSC) for the year 2016, the latest data available, contract disputes are responsible for the majority of civil cases in state courts, representing 47% of civil cases filed. Other NCSC data revealed:

  • Civil cases, those involving some sort of dispute between two parties, make up 18.1% of state trial court cases. These can include anything from divorces, custody arrangements, property disputes, contracts and other types of conflicts.
  • Civil lawsuits have been falling since 2007.
  • Of the 18.1% of cases in state courts that are considered civil disputes, only .17% are medical malpractice lawsuits, referred to as a tort. A tort is when a plaintiff accuses a defendant of acting in a way that has caused them some sort of injury or harm. 
  • Medical malpractice lawsuits only make up 4% of state tort case loads.
  • Product liability cases only make up 1% of state tort case loads.

When is the truth going to be enough to convince lawmakers to quit falling back on medical malpractice reform as the answer to reducing unnecessary medical testing, health insurance premiums for all Americans and medical malpractice premiums for healthcare providers? Maybe no amount of data and statistics will ever dull the roar of politicians looking for a platform, but for those Americans who have been harmed as the result of a medical error, nursing home abuse and neglect, dangerous products and devices, and irresponsible individuals, we hope they know that while they may be small in numbers, we’re here fighting for every last one of them.

About Levin & Perconti
We are a full-service personal injury firm located in Chicago, with extensive experience litigating throughout the state of Illinois and beyond. Founded in 1992 by Steven M. Levin and John J. Perconti, our attorneys have over 130 years of combined legal and medical experience and bring this knowledge and fierce dedication to our clients into every meeting, deposition, negotiation, settlement, and trial. We’ve recovered over $660 million for personal injury and wrongful death victims and are committed to securing the best possible result for you or your loved one. If you or a loved one have been injured due to the actions of another, please contact our attorneys for a free, confidential consultation today.

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