Courtesy of Shannon Ragland with the Mississippi Jury Verdict Reporter and sister publications is this plaintiff win rate in medical malpractice trials:
It’s amazing how consistent the numbers are between states.
Keep in mind these are verdicts–not cases. Medical malpractice defendants win a lot of cases on summary judgment.
For anyone who might think a lot of cases settle, you’re wrong. Very few medical malpractice cases settle. Hospitals sometimes settle, but doctors almost never do.
We know from focus groups that prospective jurors are exceptionally biased towards doctors. Biased jurors are unwilling to apply a negligent standard of care in medical malpractice cases. They want willful or wanton conduct.
The uncertainty is the ‘why.’ Many doctors are rude. Going to a doctor’s office is often an unpleasant experience because customer service is so bad. At many hospitals, patients need a family member in the room with them because the staff is over-worked or lazy. You don’t hear many pleasant experiences that don’t involve going to a national center like Mayo, Cleveland Clinic or MD Anderson.
So I have a hard time believing the bias is because people just love doctors. Something else is going on there.
These stats help explain why there are so few medical malpractice lawyers. It was a viable practice specialty in the 90’s. Today, I don’t know a single lawyer who only handles medical malpractice cases.