According to at least one source, the dollar amount of payouts for medical practice claims continues to an increase.
Specifically, payouts for losses have been increasing by 3 percent each year; in years past, the rate was closer to 2 percent.
It is not that there have been a larger number of jury verdicts that favor plaintiffs. In fact, more and more medical providers are choosing to settle medical malpractice claims out of court.
However, for those cases which do go to trial, juries and judges have been more willing to award compensation in very large amounts. There are more multi-million dollar verdicts than in previous years, and the number of judgements exceeding $10 million has also spiked.
These large jury verdicts, as well as a provider or insurance company’s fear of having to pay out a mammoth award, are what are driving up overall losses in medical malpractice claims.
Big verdicts may mean that patients are receiving the justice they deserve
While insurance carriers and providers may view so-called nuclear verdicts with concern, they are not usually unfair or outrageous.
Indeed, after a serious malpractice case in Pennsylvania, a patient may spend hundreds of thousands of dollars in additional medical care and rehabilitation alone.
A victim may also have lost wages or lost income-earning potential, and they also deserve compensation for their pain and suffering and other non-economic damages.
In short, a medical mistake could easily cost a Philadelphia or Harrisburg resident over $10 million in damages. Obviously, providers and the insurance carriers who defend them may not agree to pay such a high amount, so a victim or his or her family may need the help of an experienced medical malpractice attorney.