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New Jersey is one of the top states affected by medical malpractice

Medical malpractice is not just a situation in which someone experiences a poor outcome to treatment. Instead, malpractice involves negligence or an unprofessional standard of care. Doctors who make negligent mistakes or who do not follow standard procedures could face accusations of malpractice.

Medical malpractice can range from administering the wrong drug to a patient in the hospital to failing to diagnose someone with a progressive condition. Malpractice is an issue across the United States and the developed world. Healthcare professionals are under a lot of stress at work and can make mistakes that negatively impact patients. Unfortunately, a recent review of medical malpractice incidents indicates that the risk for medical malpractice may be worse in the Garden State than it is throughout much of the rest of the country.

What does the data show?

Determining how common medical malpractice actually is can be a challenge. Healthcare professionals typically do not want to advertise their mistakes. Malpractice often only comes to light when patients realize that a physician did something wrong or a coroner uncovers medical errors after someone dies.

Lawsuits and insurance claims can help estimate the overall risk of malpractice, as some of the cases where physicians harm their patients lead to medical malpractice claims. Such claims are more common in New Jersey than in most of the rest of the country. According to a review by Forbes Advisor, New Jersey ranks fifth in the nation for medical malpractice claims based on several factors.

The review examined adverse action reports, medical malpractice payment reports and even the per capita payment for medical malpractice claims. New Jersey saw 59 adverse reaction reports for every 100,000 residents and 37 medical malpractice payment reports per 100,000 residents. The average payout on those claims was $1,253, which is noticeably higher than the payouts reported among many other states with high levels of malpractice.

Patients who question the treatment that they have received or who believe that a doctor’s diagnostic failures led to a worse outcome may have grounds to pursue a medical malpractice lawsuit. Filing a medical malpractice lawsuit can potentially lead to financial compensation for the affected patient. Those who hold physicians and facilities accountable can also promote better care standards and professional practices.