Connecticut Among States With Highest Payouts for Surgical Errors

Connecticut is one of the four states with the highest average payout for surgical medical malpractice claims, according to a new analysis of medical malpractice trends unveiled at the American College of Surgeons’ 97th Annual Clinical Congress.

Although the number of surgical medical malpractice payments is decreasing across the country, the amount of each payment is increasing and the payment amounts vary widely from state to state.

Besides Connecticut, the states with the highest payment amounts were Illinois, Delaware, and Wisconsin. The states with the lowest payment amounts were Michigan, Kansas, South Carolina and Texas. It is not a coincidence that the states with the highest payouts do not have damage caps on the amount that can be awarded in a surgical medical malpractice case, while the states with the lowest payment amounts do have such limitations.

The survey also found that of the 58,518 claims it analyzed, most (62 percent) were filed by women and by inpatients (63 percent). The average age of the claimant was 42 years old.

This data paints and interesting picture. Although the number of payouts for surgical medical malpractice claims is going down, that does not necessarily mean there is less medical malpractice. It could just mean that plaintiffs are being thwarted in their attempts to recover for harm done to them. If that’s the case (and that is an “if’) then it becomes all the more important that Stamford residents who have been harmed while under a doctor’s care seek a skilled attorney who can navigate the law and make the best argument on their behalf.

Source: Medscape Today, “Surgical Malpractice Claims Drop, But Pay-Outs Increase,” Caroline Helwick, Nov. 14, 2011