Medical Liability Lawsuits Hold Steady, but Verdict Awards are Climbing

November 7, 2023

The number of lawsuits is about the same as previous years after a dip at the start of the pandemic, according to the Medscape Physicians and Malpractice Report 2023. And now that the courts are handling cases again, verdicts have been increasing since the pandemic with many above $1 million. Surgeons top the list of most frequently sued specialists, followed closely by OB-GYN physicians and orthopedists.
The majority of cases are either dismissed or settled. If a case goes to trial, 90% are won by the physician defendants. The respondents to the Medscape survey reported that the top allegation for lawsuits remain the same: failure to diagnose or delayed diagnosis for cancers, vascular events or infections.
The report notes that the volume of lawsuits varies widely by jurisdiction and other factors, such as tort reform. More than 25 states have implemented some form of damages cap for personal injury cases. However, judges in some states, like the Ohio Supreme Court in 2022, have overturned the caps on noneconomic damages as unconstitutional.

For those impacted by lawsuits, whether now or in the future, ISMIE’s Litigation Resource Center offers strategies that will help you navigate or prepare for the psychological pressures often associated with being served with a lawsuit.
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