Albany’s Boutique Litigation Firm:
Personal, professional and progressive.

Albany’s Boutique Litigation Firm

Mega verdicts are giving medical malpractice victims power

On Behalf of | Jul 10, 2024 | Medical Malpractice

When juries come back with so-called “nuclear verdicts” for malpractice against doctors and hospitals, it seems like the whole world takes note. 

Indeed, the mega-malpractice claims are becoming more common. According to one company that tracks such verdicts, 2023 set a record for monetary awards by juries – with more than 57 claims receiving $10 million or more (and half of those exceeding $25 million).

Once uncommon, large verdicts have become a norm

In reality, the vast majority of malpractice claims are still settled before trial – and those that do go to a jury still often end in the defendant’s favor. However, the large jury verdicts that do make it through the system are having a dramatic effect on the ability of current and future plaintiffs to bargain for better settlements.

There’s no real consensus on why the pendulum has seemingly started to swing in favor of plaintiffs when it comes to medical malpractice claims, but there is a sense among insurers that people are simply frustrated and angry with health professionals as a whole. 

Events of the last few years have made them distrustful of both individual providers and medical “systems,” like hospitals – and that distrust favors alleged malpractice victims. Juries no longer see doctors as individuals, but as part of “big business” that prioritizes money over people, and they are punishing them for mistakes that arise from a lack of concern for their patients.

Ultimately, this is good news for the victims of malpractice and their families. Those giant awards that make the news are rattling the confidence of insurers who might once have fought smaller claims. That makes them more willing to bargain fairly when someone gets hurt due to a medical error.

If you or your loved one has suffered injuries due to malpractice, it may be time to seek more individual guidance.