Reuters reports on a study of 10,000 medical malpractice claims during the years 2002-2005 published online in the Archives of Internal Medicine. The study found that a little over half (55 percent) result in lawsuits. Of those, over half are dismissed; most of the remaining are resolved before a verdict, with under five percent resulting in a trial verdict.
Of those decided at trial 80 percent favor the physician.
Dismissed cases took an average of 20 months to resolve, while those decided at trial took an average of 39 months if they favored the physician and 44 months when they favored the patient.