If you have been harmed by medical negligence, you deserve to receive compensation for that harm. Medical malpractice laws make that possible. But just because it is possible to sue a doctor or hospital for medical malpractice, this doesn’t ensure you will win your case or receive fair damages. Unfortunately, research shows that fewer people win medical malpractice cases today than in the past. However, the good news is that, if you win, payouts in medical malpractice cases have increased in recent years. But why is this, and how will it affect your case?

If you want to give yourself the best chance of winning a medical malpractice case and getting a high jury award, contact Wapner Newman at (215) 569-0900 as soon as possible.

What the Research Shows

How Changes in the Law Increased the Average Payout for Medical Malpractice and Decreased the Number of Cases that Went to Trial

A recent Harvard study revealed that the number of medical malpractice cases that ended in a verdict in the United States decreased precipitously between 1992 and 2014. However, over the same time, the average medical malpractice payouts of those cases increased by almost a quarter. In Pennsylvania, the effect was even more dramatic, according to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. In 2004, 449 medical malpractice cases went to verdict, and in 2015, that number had dropped to 101.

Why Fewer Cases Are Going to Trial

The decrease in the number of cases going to trial is an intended consequence of Pennsylvania legislation that modified the rules for medical malpractice cases. The legislature added roadblocks in state law designed to limit meritless cases. These new changes require a case to be filed in the county where the medical negligence occurred and require a medical professional to sign a certificate of merit affirming the case is legitimate.

While this legislation intended to decrease the number of meritless cases that reached trial, the goal does not appear to have been reached. While fewer cases are reaching a verdict, almost the same percentage of cases (roughly 25%) are being decided in favor of the litigant. This shows that juries still find the same percentage of cases legitimate.

But what explains the increase in the average payout for medical negligence? The answer seems to be that law firms are refusing to take cases with smaller damages because medical malpractice claims have become more difficult and expensive to litigate.

Furthermore, settlements weren’t included in the results of any of this research, and that is meaningful because most medical malpractice claims never go to trial. While settlements usually result in lower average medical malpractice payouts, that is often made up for because they take less time and ensure that the victim gets compensation. Since the average payout for medical malpractice trial damages has increased, settlement payouts have also increased.

How this Affects Your Case in Philadelphia

Should You Be Worried about Getting Compensation?

The good news is that these payout changes have the least effect on Philadelphia cases. One of the reasons that the laws were changed was that most cases were being filed in Philadelphia courts because medical malpractice cases were most likely to succeed in that district. So if you were harmed in Philadelphia, then this change in law doesn’t affect you.

Why Choose Wapner Newman?

What about the other part of the law that requires certification? That is no challenge for a law firm handling cases in Philadelphia for over 40 years. Wapner Newman has built extensive contacts in the medical community over the past four decades and can readily find a doctor who can certify your case.

Once we have taken your case, we will fight relentlessly to get you the maximum possible compensation allowed by law. Whether we negotiate a settlement or take the case to trial, our legal team has decades of experience that we will apply to your case.

An Experienced Medical Malpractice Law Firm

At Wapner Newman, we instill confidence in our clients due to our decades of experience. If you have been harmed by medical negligence, choose a law firm with experience to represent you.

Ready to get the compensation you deserve from a medical malpractice case? Call Wapner Newman at (215) 569-0900 to speak to a legal team that cares about your case.

FAQs about Medical Malpractice Payout

We have heard thousands of questions while handling medical malpractice cases for over 40 years. Here are some of the most common ones we received.

What is the average payout for medical negligence?

The payout for any medical malpractice case depends on the circumstances. Until we know the details of your case, we can’t even begin to estimate what it would be worth. But once you explain it, we’ll provide you with an estimated value during your free consultation.

Why do most cases end with a settlement?

Most cases end with a settlement because the insurance company recognizes that we have enough evidence to win at trial. Our clients usually agree to a settlement offer because we ensure it is fair and it gets them money more quickly.

How long does a medical malpractice case take if it goes to trial?

When a medical malpractice case goes to trial, it will usually take at least a year before a verdict is reached. Some trials take quite a bit longer.

Will the legal fee be higher than the damages I receive?

No. We always charge a percentage of the damages you receive and nothing more.

How do I know if my case has merit?

Our experienced legal team will determine the merit of your case during your initial consultation. We may consult with experienced physicians at no cost to you.

We love answering questions at Wapner Newman. If you have any more, just ask.