How Often Does Medical Malpractice Happen in DC?

By Peter DePaolis

Medical malpractice in Washington D.C. happens much more often than most patients realize. Patients typically assume their physicians and hospitals will treat them fairly, in accordance with accepted medical industry standards. Unfortunately, human errors and equipment malfunctions occur daily – putting patients’ lives in jeopardy. Take a look at the most recent available statistics for medical malpractice in DC and around the country.

If you’ve reached this page as a recent victim of medical malpractice, contact our office today to schedule a free consultation with an experienced attorney.

Unintentional Injuries Are the Third Leading Cause of Death in the U.S.

Medical malpractice refers to any action or omission that causes the healthcare provider to fail to meet a reasonable degree of care, resulting in patient injury. In a legal setting, medical malpractice is a type of civil claim against the at-fault healthcare provider in pursuit of financial damages. Many patients believe medical malpractice is uncommon, or that it only occurs at low-rated healthcare centers. This is false.

Unintentional injuries are the third leading cause of death in the United States, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. In 2016, 29.2 million hospital visits occurred because of unintentional injuries. These injuries stem from accidents such as car crashes, slip and falls, unintentional poisoning, and medical malpractice. Almost every day, a patient suffers an injury or illness because of a physician’s professional malpractice.

Medical Malpractice Statistics

Medical malpractice can be a very personal wrongdoing if it is you or your family suffering the injury or loss. While statistics are an impersonal way to look at this issue, they are important for citizens to understand the full scale of the problem. Spreading awareness about medical malpractice takes introducing patients into the true facts surrounding this type of negligence.

  • In 2016, the U.S. saw a total of 863 resolved medical malpractice claims. The total paid indemnity came to over $106 million.
  • From 2012 to 2016, defendants in medical malpractice claims paid $17.4 million to plaintiffs when the cases went to court. Overall, insurance companies paid $25.6 million in verdicts and judgments.
  • In 2018, plaintiffs filed six medical malpractice claims in Washington, DC. Five amounted to jury verdicts, while the sixth was a mistrial. One plaintiff one $3.6 million for a birth complication that caused serious permanent injury, while another won $1,251,725 for a fatality.
  • DC courts see an average of seven medical malpractice claims each year from plaintiffs with injuries related to negligent, unsafe, or incompetent medical care. These are just the claims that reach the courtroom – dozens of other cases achieve pre-trial settlements each year.
  • Most medical malpractice court cases resolve in favor of the defendant in Washington, DC. It can be difficult to go up against a physician or hospital. Hiring a lawyer with years of experience handling these types of claims could help your chances of success.

Every patient in DC is at risk of medical malpractice. Human errors happen all the time. Be on the lookout for signs of potential malpractice. These could include miscommunications, unsafe premises, dirty tools, malfunctioning equipment, misinterpreted test results, poor patient care, or incompetence. If you have any reason to believe that medical malpractice may have caused your recent injuries or illness, contact an attorney in DC.

Do You Have a Medical Malpractice Claim?

Medical malpractice is a serious form of professional negligence that could derail a patient’s recovery. If you suffered injuries, illnesses, or lost a loved one because of suspected medical malpractice, speak to a personal injury lawyer in DC. The doctor or hospital could owe you significant compensation for your losses.

A lawyer can review your story, let you know if you have a case, and help you take the first steps toward obtaining compensation. Hold the at-fault party accountable for your medical malpractice losses with help from an attorney.

About the Author
Peter DePaolis joined the firm in 1980 and has since represented a large number of individuals involved in automobile collisions, truck accidents, bus crashes, defective products, and medical malpractice cases. A significant portion of Mr. DePaolis’ practice is devoted to working on behalf of people suffering from asbestosis, mesothelioma, and other asbestos-related cancers. He has led his firm’s fight against the asbestos industry and has recovered over $30 million in damages for asbestos victims and their families.