There was a law change in North Carolina in 2011, and medical malpractice suits have plunged 46%. But experts say there has been no statistical evidence to show that medical errors have dropped.
According to a recent study by the medical journal BMJ, medical errors account for 250,000 deaths in the US each year. That makes it the third-leading cause of death, behind only heart disease and cancer.
Also, a 2010 report in the New England Journal of Medicine found that 4,000 patients die every year in North Carolina due to preventable medical errors.
Doctor groups in North Carolina have been critical of the number of reported medical error cases. They argue that a diabetes patient who dies after a surgery cannot really be said to have died just from the surgery.
Nevertheless, the number of medical error cases are far more than the number of malpractice cases, with only 314 filed in North Carolina last year.
Our medical malpractice and medical error personal injury attorneys know that preventable medical errors kill enough people to kill four jumbo jets full of people every week of the year. This problem is far more common than people realize, and part of the problem is that doctors and surgeons may stick with old routines and traditions of treating medical conditions that could create undue risks.
We once represented a client who had a serious rectal hemorrhage due to a medical error, and that case was settled for $200,000. You do have legal options if this happens to you.