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Study Finds Medical Malpractice Claims Are Declining, but Payouts are Higher

obstetricianUnfortunately, medical malpractice injures a number of patients in Maryland and across the country each year. In the most serious cases, medical mistakes can lead to death. While all medical professionals are capable of making mistakes, some specialties, such as OB/GYNs, are more susceptible to lawsuits than others. If you or someone close to you has been harmed by an OB/GYN’s error, you should reach out to a skilled Baltimore obstetrician malpractice attorney who can assess the merits of your case. At Arfaa Law Group, we understand the nuances of this area of the law and can protect your rights at every step of the way.

A recent study published by the Journal of the American Medical Association found that medical malpractice lawsuits are declining in the United States, but the average payment is rising. The objective of the study was to characterize paid malpractice claims by specialty. According to the report, the rate of malpractice claims went down more than 50 percent between 1992 and 2014. However, if you are a neurosurgeon or an OB/GYN, you still face a high risk of being sued, despite the overall decline in malpractice claims. Also notable in the study is the finding that the average malpractice payment has risen by almost 25 percent in inflation-adjusted dollars since the early 1990s. In fact, approximately one in 14 claims pay out over a million dollars. For neurosurgeons and OB/GYNs, these high payouts happen in almost one out of eight claims.

Not every adverse outcome is a result of medical malpractice in Maryland. Instead, a medical malpractice claim is a claim of negligence committed by a medical professional, such as a physician, nurse, dentist, chiropractor, technician, hospital, or hospital staff. Medical malpractice occurs when a patient is injured or killed because a medical professional failed to use the level of care and caution that another medical professional in the same specialty would have used in the same or similar circumstances. A jury will determine if a medical professional’s actions were negligent by considering the testimony of experts, usually other medical professionals in the same specialty, who will testify whether they believe the defendant followed standard medical practices or deviated from the accepted standard of care.

One step that plaintiffs in Maryland have to go through before they can even file a medical malpractice claim against a medical professional is the requirement that they file a “certificate of merit.” This necessitates that a physician review the facts of the case and “certify” that the plaintiff’s medical professional deviated from the standard of care, which resulted in the plaintiff’s injury. This requirement is intended to parse out legitimate medical malpractice lawsuits from frivolous ones.

If you or someone close to you has suffered adverse health consequences due to an OB/GYN’s error, you need to consult a seasoned Baltimore birth injury attorney without delay. At Arfaa Law Group, we are committed to helping you navigate the legal progress and helping you pursue the compensation you deserve. For more information about your legal rights and options, feel free to call us at 410-889-1850.

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