Orginal Publication Date
MCV/Q, Medical College of Virginia Quarterly
Today more malpractice suits are being filed than ever before. Not only are more suits being filed but the amount of settlements and verdicts has significantly increased. Perhaps one of the primary reasons for this phenomenon is the consumerists movements. Obviously, the more consumer groups advocate consumer protection, and the more that juries render favorable verdicts, the better educated and aware of verdicts the consumer becomes. The result of this is that people become more litigation conscious. In Virginia, medical malpractice litigation appears to be just beginning to flourish in relation to other large urban areas in the North and Far West. Notwithstanding this, malpractice litigation in Virginia is increasing rapidly. For example over the past twenty years the number of medical malpractice claims in Virginia has increased from approximately 47 in 1955 to 272 so far in 1975, which represents an increase of almost 600%. Concurrently, the average cost of concluding a medical malpractice claim has increased from approximately $4,900 in 1969, to $10,600 in 1974, representing over a 100% increase in the past five years.
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