New study says med mal claims seldom make it in front of a judge

Post #2 image. 2012-05-26.jpgA new study has been released about medical malpractice claims across the nation. The lead researcher of the study is Dr. Anupam B. Jena and it appears in American Medical Association’s issue of Archives in Internal Medicine.

The data for the study is made up of cases closed between 2002 and 2005, but only those that involved some cost to the defense, meaning the case has gone past the Complaint stage of the lawsuit process. The final results of the study say that while medical malpractice claims usually go through the litigation process they seldom make it all the way trial. The study also found that of those who do go to trial they are more often than not resolved in favor of the physician.

There were also variations in the frequency of litigation between medical specialties. Overall 54.1% of all medical malpractice cases between 2002 and 2005 with some defense costs were dismissed by the court. The difference in rates of dismissal for various specialties is stark: 61.5% of claims against internists were dismissed while only 36.5% of cases against pathologists were dismissed. Between those same two specialties, 33.3% of claims against internists were resolved prior to going to trial while 46.9% of claims against pathologists were resolved before going in front of a judge.

While the statistics are interesting the underlying message is nothing new. Most lawsuits and most criminal prosecutions do not go to trial. Judicial efficiency requires that most of the cases be settled or resolved prior to trial because if not, the court system would not be equipped to handle the resulting massive caseload. This new study, however, does shed some light on how other medical malpractice lawyers across the country, including those in the state of Mississippi, litigate claims based on the specialty of the physician defending the lawsuit.

The study shows significant differences between the rates of dismissal and trial from one specialty to another. A competent Mississippi medical malpractice lawyer would use this information to help him prepare for his next major medical malpractice case. If you would like to speak with a Mississippi medical malpractice attorney about a potential medical malpractice claim, call Mississippi medical malpractice lawyers at Kilpatrick & Philley today at (601) 856-7800.

Source: “Most medical malpractice claims litigated, but few go to trial: Study,” by Judy Greenwald, published at

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