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Medical Malpractice Trends by the Numbers

Every day, medical malpractice leads to the injury or death of patients around the world. To gain a better understanding of why and how these injuries and fatalities occur, Coverys released their report, A Call for Action: Insights from a Decade of Malpractice Claims. This report aims to help clinicians identify and prevent malpractice. Let’s take a look at the claims trends by medical specialty as outlined in this report.

Physician Claims Trends By Specialty

General Medicine

The claims rate for general medicine has been steadily rising in recent years, with a notable spike in 2018. On average, gross paid indemnity per claim is around $449,000 over the last 10-year period. Despite these high numbers, the number of claims with indemnity paid has remained relatively flat, hovering around 23% throughout the decade. Average expenses have also been relatively constant, despite experiencing some yearly fluctuations.


In the field of obstetrics, claims frequency has slightly increased from an average of 9.1 to 9.5 claims per 100 physicians throughout the last 10 years. Physicians aged 35-44 account for the highest rate of obstetric claims. Average indemnity and expenses have gone up over this period, with average indemnity per claim standing at $435,447. This figure is higher than for other types of claims, and the rate of claims with indemnity paid has remained relatively stable at 32% across the decade.


When it comes to surgery, the claims rate per 100 surgeons has been on a gradual decline over the past 10 years. It decreased from 12.4 to 9.7 per 100 between 2010 and 2019. As with obstetric claims, physicians aged 35-44 account for the highest rate of surgery claims. Indemnity payouts and expenses related to surgery claims are both on the rise. The rate of claims with indemnity paid has stayed at a consistent 25% over this period.


Radiologists tend to experience fewer claims as they get older, with the rate of claims steadily decreasing. Average expenses and indemnity payouts for radiologists have increased over this period. The rate of claims with indemnity paid was 27%.


The practice of anesthesia has become increasingly data-driven in recent years, leading to a significant decline in the overall claims rate. This decrease is attributed to improved simulation training, human factors engineering, and evidence-based decision-making. Anesthesiologists aged 55–64 account for the highest rate of claims compared to other age groups. Average indemnity and expense payments have seen an increase over this period, although indemnity payouts vary greatly from year to year. The average rate of claims with indemnity paid is 21%.

Let Us Handle Your Case With Confidence

Injuries or wrongful deaths caused by medical malpractice are, unfortunately, common occurrences. It is important for those affected by medical malpractice to find an experienced attorney who can help them build a strong case and pursue justice on their behalf.

Did a loved one suffer due to medical negligence? Let the team at Brewster & De Angelis be there to get the justice your family deserves. Contact us online or by phone, so we can work with you. (918) 265-1214

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