the daunting statistics about medical malpractice in pennsylvania

Many of us remember what it was like to be a kid at the doctor’s office. We cried when we received shots, but we were often rewarded with stickers and small toys. Now, many people in Pennsylvania naively believe that the worst is over. Other than the occasional trip to have blood drawn, most trips to the doctor are painless. At least they should be.

Unfortunately, for millions of people, that isn’t the case. Each year, roughly 225,000 people are killed because of medical malpractice, and a total of 1.5 million people are injured by medical errors each year. Moreover, unintentional injuries are the fifth leading cause of death in the country, and the mistakes doctors make play right into that equation.

Those statistics are daunting, but they also don’t tell the full story. In 2011, Pennsylvania was one of six states that accounted for about 50 percent of all payouts of medical malpractice lawsuits. Although that speaks volumes to people in Pennsylvania who are willing to hold negligent doctors accountable, it also sheds light on the number of people throughout the country who are not fighting to receive the compensation they need.

Statistics show that only 2 percent of individuals who are injured by doctors actually seek compensation, and that’s alarming. When the negligence of doctors, surgeons or hospitals causes injuries, victims should not expect that their lives will be the same. Paying for extended hospital stays, nurses, surgeries, and months or years in physical therapy — the costs add up quickly.

Lawsuits can provide compensation to pay for your medical needs. More importantly, when victims hold negligent doctors liable for their mistakes, it helps protect others from suffering the same fate.

Source: Pennlive.com, “Poor medical care draws attention,” MaLaysia Mitchell,” May 26, 2012

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