How Many Medical Malpractice Deaths Occur Per Year?


Well over 200,000 people die every year because of medical mistakes. Medical malpractice occurs when a doctor or other health care professional violates the standard of care and injures a patient as a result. The impact can be catastrophic, both emotionally and financially.

At The Moore Law Firm, our experienced Cincinnati medical malpractice lawyers understand this impact on your life. We use all of our experience and expertise to give you the best chance of securing the compensation you deserve after the loss of a loved one or an injury due to medical malpractice.

The Scope of Medical Malpractice Deaths

Patient deaths from malpractice are more common than what most people think. These preventable deaths result from low quality of care or other medical mistakes.

Medical Malpractice and Its Consequences

Medical malpractice occurs when a healthcare professional's negligence causes an injury or death. For the cause to qualify as medical malpractice, the health care professional must:

  • Fail to meet the applicable standard of care
  • Cause an injury or death to occur that can be connected to this failure
  • Cause an outcome that resulted in significant damages

The consequences can be severe for both the patient and their family. This includes significant medical costs, emotional trauma, and long-term recoveries that are recoverable in successful medical malpractice lawsuits.

Statistics on Medical Malpractice-Related Fatalities

Medical malpractice-related deaths are the third leading cause of death in the United States, according to a study by John Hopkins Medicine. The study found that over 250,000 people in the U.S. die every year because of medical errors. Some studies even suggest the death rate could be as high as 440,000.

These studies and many more also found alarming statistics, including:

  • More than 100,000 deaths each year are likely related to improper medications
  • The wrong medical procedure and unnecessary surgeries account for approximately 12,000 deaths per year
  • Only 1 in every 50 victims will pursue a medical malpractice claim
  • Less than 10% of medical mistakes are reported

In addition, up to 1.5 million people suffer non-fatal medical malpractice every year.

These alarming statistics show just how serious this situation is. Patient deaths and other damaging outcomes due to improper medical treatment deserve compensation.

Factors Contributing to Medical Malpractice Claims

Factors that contribute to medical malpractice claims include:

  • A lack of accountability and reporting for unintentional injuries
  • Misdiagnosis of medical issues
  • Out-of-date training and guidelines around medical care
  • Medication errors and prescribing the wrong medication due to improper documentation
  • Failure to analyze a patient's medical history
  • Incorrect surgical procedures through confusing medical systems
  • A lag in digitizing electronic medical records to prevent surgical errors and other incorrect medical treatment
  • Improper emergency room procedures and safeguards to prevent patient harm

The Impact of Medical Malpractice on Patients and Families

Medical malpractice can have a serious impact on both patients and their families. These impacts range from the financial and emotional consequences of a death to the severe grief caused by losing someone you love.

Emotional and Financial Consequences of Medical Negligence

There are severe financial and emotional consequences after a loved one's death, both of which are compensable as part of medical malpractice claims. Financial consequences of a medical malpractice-related death include:

  • Significant medical expenses before death
  • Lost income or lost earning capacity
  • Lost wages by the surviving spouse as they take time off work to grieve and care for the family
  • Funeral and burial expenses

The emotional consequences can also be quite severe, especially in the case of an unexpected death. They can include:

  • Grief and bereavement
  • Anxiety and depression
  • Isolation and withdrawal
  • Anger and frustration at the healthcare system and providers
  • Post-traumatic stress
  • Loss of companionship and support from the loved one who died

These and other consequences can have a severe impact on your life.

Coping With the Loss of a Loved One Due to Medical Malpractice

Losing a beloved family member is traumatic and difficult. Coping with this loss is also difficult. It may affect your relationships with others and make it hard to live your everyday life. This grief can lead to depression, suicidal thoughts, and other severe consequences related to medical malpractice.

This grief can also be confusing. Medical malpractice is complicated, and you may be unsure why the doctor or medical professional acted the way they did. Your loved one may have been treated for a simple medical condition but still lost their life when you least suspected it. This can be incredibly difficult to handle for you and your entire family.

Pursuing Legal Action for Wrongful Death Caused by Medical Negligence

Preventable deaths due to medical malpractice may entitle you to file a wrongful death claim. A wrongful death action pursues compensation from the negligent party who caused your loved one's death. This legal action may be against parties such as:

  • A doctor, surgeon, or other physician
  • A nurse
  • A medical assistant
  • A hospital or other employer
  • An insurance company

A wrongful death lawsuit is appropriate when another party's wrongful actions cause the death of your loved one. Under Ohio law, the deceased person's individual personal representative is entitled to file the lawsuit. Potential beneficiaries include the deceased person's surviving spouse, any surviving children, and any surviving parents. The family must prove compensable losses as part of that lawsuit, but a skilled personal injury attorney knows how to help.

The Best Legal Option for Medical Malpractice Cases

If you lost a loved one because of medical malpractice, you could be entitled to significant financial compensation. Medical malpractice and wrongful death cases have short time guidelines in which you must file, so you should consult an experienced Ohio medical malpractice attorney as soon as possible following the death of your family member. At The Moore Law Firm, we have represented hundreds of families and helped them seek the compensation they deserve. Our satisfied clients have seen firsthand our compassionate yet aggressive approach to winning compensation in their cases.

For help with your medical malpractice case, contact us today. We are ready to help you.

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If you have been injured or have lost a loved one as a result of another person's negligence, you deserve to be fully compensated for your losses. The simple fact is that you should not be forced to pay the price for another person's careless or reckless actions.