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What should everyone know about medical malpractice?

In today’s world of scientific breakthroughs and medical advances, it seems like medical malpractice should be a rare (and getting rarer) event.

It’s not. In fact, medical malpractice — specifically from surgical mistakes — is the third leading cause of death in the United States today.

According to recently compiled statistics that looked at data from 2009 through 2018, around 250,000 people die every year from surgical mistakes and other medical errors. Many more are injured through medical negligence but manage to survive — although those victims often have their lives changed forever for the worse due to their experience.

For quite a while, there was a bit of a backlash against medical malpractice claims. Insurance companies did a great job convincing the American public that medical malpractice cases were the result of runaway claims and greedy patients. Now, however, the pendulum seems to be sliding back. In 2015, victims of medical malpractice were awarded $4.01 billion in damages — the most paid in any one year for the last decade. That may be a sign that people are starting to hold errant doctors and hospitals more responsible for preventable mistakes.

Statistics indicate that the atmosphere is particularly favorable for New York injury victims. The victims of medical malpractice in that state received about $7 billion worth of compensation between 2009-2018, the most anywhere in the nation.

Medical malpractice is a highly complex area of personal injury law. Victims (and their surviving family members, when the victim dies) often suspect that mistakes are made but find themselves frustrated at every turn when they try to get information from the doctor or hospital. If you’re in that position, it may be time to see if a medical malpractice attorney can help.