When you visit a doctor or other medical professional, you expect to receive quality care consistent with accepted professional standards. A health care professional who fails to provide care in accordance with accepted medical standards has committed medical malpractice and is generally liable for any resulting injuries to the patient.
Malpractice may include surgical errors, misdiagnoses or medication errors. Whatever the cause, medical malpractice can have a devastating impact on patients.
The importance of financial recovery from malpractice
Victims of medical malpractice often experience significant distress and substantial financial losses. A victim may no longer be able to work due to injuries or they lose the ability to care for themselves or their children. In some cases, the victim may die.
Financial recovery following malpractice is often critical to the victim and their family. Despite this, medical malpractice litigation can be controversial because some claim malpractice payouts are too high and increase health care costs.
Medical malpractice in North Dakota
A recent government report found that between January 2012 and June 2022, medical providers in North Dakota made only 100 malpractice payments, which represented the fewest of any state.
But accounting for North Dakota’s smaller population, North Dakota actually paid out a slightly greater number of claims per capita than Minnesota and Wisconsin.
The average payout in a medical malpractice case between January 2012 and June 2022 was $273,600, which ranked 39th among the states.
This number is likely influenced by a North Dakota statute capping non-economic damages – meaning non-monetary losses like pain and suffering and emotional distress – in a medical malpractice case at $500,000.
Medical malpractice claims
Ultimately, any patient alleging malpractice must prove deviation from generally accepted standards of medical care and that the deviation caused the patient’s injuries. The patient must also prove the amount of damages suffered as a result of the malpractice.
Medical malpractice cases are extremely complex, so any patient considering a malpractice claim should consult a skilled attorney.