Average Settlement of Medical Malpractice Claims

Average Settlement of Medical Malpractice Claims  

Average Settlement of Medical Malpractice Claims

Average Settlement of Medical Malpractice Claims

October 21, 2022

Allegations of medical malpractice can occur when a health care professional or provider neglects to provide appropriate treatment, causing harm, injury or death to a patient. According to the American Board of Professional Liability Attorneys (ABPLA),1 for an incident to be considered medical malpractice under law, the claim must have these three features: 

  • There was a violation of the standard of professional conduct. 
  • The negligence caused a negative legal outcome. 
  • The negligence resulted in significant damages. 


The top five malpractice allegations2 are failure to diagnose or delayed diagnosis, complications from treatment or surgery, poor outcomes or disease progression, failure to treat and wrongful death. Medical malpractice is the third leading cause of death in the U.S., behind heart disease and cancer.3 Almost 250,000 people4 die in hospitals each year because of preventable mistakes.

Cost of the average settlement

Between 2010 and 2019, $42 billion5 was paid to victims of medical malpractice. In 2019, New York ($241,714), South Dakota ($209,716) and Massachusetts ($178,919) were the top three states in terms of average settlement.6 Today, the average amount paid per claim is $242,0007 or more. Since 2001, payouts less than $500,000 have dropped nearly 55%, but payouts above $500,000 have been far more constant. 

Settlement vs. trial

Despite what local and national media outlets may portray, only 7%8 of medical malpractice claims end in a trial; many cases are either dropped or dismissed before a trial. For the cases that reach a trial, 80% are ruled in favor of the health care providers and only 1 in 3 patients receive compensation. For the ones receiving compensation, only 5% of cases end in a verdict and 95% are settled out of court, according to Justpoint.9

Why choose Proliability?

Professional liability insurance through Proliability will help you if you’re named in a claim. Your policy may cover licensing board reimbursement expenses, deposition expenses, lost wage reimbursement, lawyer fees and more. Visit Proliablity.com for more information. 


1 Admin, MemberClicks. “What Is Malpractice?” American Board of Professional Liability Attorneys, https://www.abpla.org/what-is-malpractice.   

2 Staff, Healthgrades Editorial. “Top 5 Reasons for Medical Malpractice Lawsuits.” Healthgrades, Healthgrades, 13 Jan. 2022, https://www.healthgrades.com/pro/top-5-causes-of-medical-malpractice-lawsuits.  

3 Stanislaw, Dr. George. “25 Facts about Medical Malpractice.” Medical Malpractice Center, 20 Oct. 2019, https://malpracticecenter.com/medical-malpractice-facts/

3, 4, 5, 7, 8, 9 Justpoint. “US Medical Malpractice Case Statistics.” Justpoint, https://justpoint.com/knowledge-base/us-medical-malpractice-case-statistics.  

6 Weiss, Sarah. “An Analysis of Medical Malpractice Suits by U.S State.” Weiss & Paarz, 6 Oct. 2021, https://www.weisspaarz.com/medical-malpractice-suits-analysis/#:~:text=The%20top%20states%20for%20average,top%2Dthree%20list%20in%202019.  

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