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The Truth About Medical Malpractice Insurance Premiums

Steve Wagner

Are medical malpractice claims really to blame for ballooning insurance premiums for doctors, and rising healthcare costs?

A recent study by Dartmouth health economist, Amitabh Chandra, Ph.D. showed that the widely accepted blame on jury awards, and judgements at trial are very misleading. The truth is, only a small portion of malpractice claims actually make it to trial, and the remainder are settled out of court.

According to Chandra, awards by a judge or jury only account for around 5% of all medical malpractice dollars, and the average size of these payments grew only 3.4% from 1991 to 2003.

In laymen’s terms, large jury awards are not driving the increasing costs of malpractice premiums. On top of that, malpractice payments have grown at around the same rate of health-care costs, despite assumptions otherwise.

While Chandra agrees that the amount of money the country spends on malpractice payments has increased substantially, he says it is a fraction of the amount of money we spend on healthcare, and it hasn’t grown all that much. In 1991, only $10 out of $1000 dollars spent on healthcare went to malpractice payments. In 2002, after inflation adjustments, that $10 only increased to $11.

What this says is that it’s rising medical costs, not excessive jury awards that are causing malpractice insurance premiums to skyrocket.

What Does This Mean For You?

If you take a closer look at the amount of jury awards and settlements made for malpractice claims, you’ll notice that a large majority of cases are awarded minimum amounts, if anything at all. What does this mean for you? This means that when you go up against large medical corporations, insurance companies, and doctors with good reputations, you need an experienced medical malpractice attorney on your side.

If you are worried about filing a med mal claim, contact our Indianapolis medical malpractice attorneys for FREE advice about the truth behind these lawsuits. You can schedule a consultation with us at (888) 204-8440, and we’ll discuss the details of your case and how we can help you get the compensation you deserve.


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