Truth About the Number of Medical Malpractice Case Filings in Cook County
In conversations with family, friends and others about being a personal injury lawyer, the topic invariably turns to medical malpractice and the “myths” about the number of lawsuits filed, doctors fleeing the state and a system out of control.
People get half-truths and odd bits of information here and there. It usually comes from “news” sources such as radio programs, opinion pieces in the newspaper and other such sources. Most people do not have the time to do their own research. The “myth” is then repeated often enough to become” fact “.
One substantial part of the “myth” regards the number of medical malpractice lawsuits filed.
Before tackling the myth, let’s just lay out some fundamental facts about medical care in Chicago and Cook County:
- Cook County is the second most populous county in the United States;
- There are 5 teaching hospitals in Cook County (Loyola University, Northwestern University, University of Chicago, University of Illinois and Rush University) no other county has that many;
- In addition to those 5 large medical complexes there are 46 other hospitals in Cook County, including such large networks as Advocate and Presence, not to mention Stroger Cook County Hospital;
- On any given day there are hundreds, if not thousands, of medical procedures performed in all 51 Cook County hospitals.
Knowing those facts, how many medical malpractice lawsuits do you think are filed each year (on average) in Cook County?
In fact, since the year 2000, Cook County has averaged 1,100 medical malpractice lawsuits filed in any given year. There have to be that many medical procedures performed in Cook County today.
The medical malpractice lawsuits filed in Cook County each year represent an infinitesimal proportion to the number of medical procedures performed every year in the County. The facts do not comport with a “system out of control.” Medical malpractice suits do serve the very necessary purpose of holding medical professionals responsible when their errors cause someone great harm.
The attorneys of Vinkler Law can help you or your loved ones investigate a potential malpractice claim.