Since January 1998, the North Carolina Administrative Office of the Courts (AOC) has compiled data regarding medical malpractice cases filed in North Carolina courts.
An analysis of the AOC data regarding medical malpractice case filings indicate that an average of 566 cases were filed per year from 1998 through 2009, which accounted for a mere 0.25% of all civil cases filed (average number of all civil cases filed from 1998 through 2009: 228,037).
The number of medical malpractice cases filed in North Carolina have been falling in recent years. In 2009, 496 medical malpractice cases were filed. The most recent three-year average was 465, which is 22.5% lower than the annual average for the preceding nine years. For the period from 1998 to 2009, the most medical malpractice cases were filed in 2001 (679) and the least number were filed in 2008 (438).
While the number of medical malpractice cases has been falling, the number of physicians in North Carolina have been increasing (an increase of 29.1% from 1998 to 2008), and at a rate greater than the increase in population (an increase of 18.3% from 1998 to 2008). While in 1998 there were 15,135 physicians in North Carolina, in 2008 there were 19,542 (there were increases in total physicians from year-to-year from 1998 through 2008). And while there was an increase in total population in North Carolina by 1,429,515 from 1998 through 2008 (2008 population: 9,227,016), there was an increase of physicians in the amount of 4,407.
Only 4% of the medical malpractice cases filed in North Carolina courts went to verdict (the remaining 96% were settled, dismissed, or resolved in another way). Of those cases that went to verdict, 22.3% were won by the plaintiff. Of those cases won by the plaintiff, the median jury award was $320,000.
If you reside in North Carolina and have suffered injuries due to medical malpractice, it doesn’t matter to you that the number of medical malpractice case filings have decreased recently — your claim is important to you and you may be entitled to compensation for your losses. Please visit our website to be connected with medical malpractice lawyers in North Carolina who may be able to assist you with your claim. Our toll free number is 800-295-3959.