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What States Have the Most Medical Malpractice?

June 18, 2024

Did you know that 513,270 malpractice reports were made to a national database in the past 10 years?

RP Legal Group examined the number of reports in a state per 100,000 residents. Researchers looked at more than 500,000 adverse action reports (AARs) across the U.S. in the past decade. Adverse action reports are what healthcare institutions or states use to report suspected cases of medical malpractice against doctors, dentists or any other healthcare provider.

Between 2013 and 2023, the National Practitioner Data Bank recorded roughly 513,270 adverse reports, with payouts totaling close to $43 million. This database is run by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and contains medical malpractice payment and adverse action reports on health care professionals.

Complaints can be lodged by patients or on their behalf for those who’ve died as a result of suspected malpractice.

What States Are in The Top Five?

Topping the list was Louisiana, which had an average of about 29 reports per 100,000 from 2013 to 2023. Approximately 3,000 payments were paid out by insurances, healthcare institutions, or providers over the decade in Louisiana; however, even though they’re ranked first, Louisiana has in fact experienced an 18% decrease in AARs filed since 2013. Next was Wyoming, with a rate of 26.2 adverse action reports per 100,000 residents, then Colorado with a rate of 25.6 reports. Rounding out the top five were Oregon (23 adverse action reports) and Oklahoma (22.5 adverse action reports per 100,000 people).

On the other end of the spectrum, the Aloha State had the lowest rate of medical malpractice. Hawaii saw an average of 62 reports from 2013 to 2023—a rate of just 4.3 reports per 100,000 people. Second best was by New York, with a rate of 5.5 and Idaho with a rate of 7.4 AARs per 100,000 residents. Finally, rounding out the five states with lowest AAR rates was Georgia (7.5 per 100,000) and Connecticut (7.6 per 100,000).

This research demonstrate that there’s no part  of the country that’s safe from medical malpractice: the highest errors in states are found all over the country, including the West, Midwest, South, and Northeast.

What is Medical Malpractice?

Malpractice happens when a healthcare professional, hospital, or other healthcare facility fails to care for someone in accordance with the accepted standards of the medical profession, and the individual is injured, becomes ill, or a condition or illness worsens as a result. For example, medical malpractice can be mistakes or errors made during surgery or procedures, including operating on a wrong part of the body and leaving medical tools and supplies in patients following surgery.

It’s difficult to ascertain an exact cause for the medical mishaps, but errors can be the result of a lack of care, rushing care, inexperience among providers, or negligence. Practitioners and healthcare employees must make certain that they have thorough training and are up to date with advances in the healthcare system to reduce potential malpractice.

A previous similar analysis speculated population size also could have led to more cases in certain states because physicians may be responsible for more patients.

Understaffing and burnout may also be contributing factors. A 2023 survey by Athenahealth found more than 90% of doctors in America reported feeling burnt out on a regular basis, while 60% said they have considered leaving the profession entirely.


You need an experienced medical malpractice attorney to have the best chance of a successful outcome in your medical malpractice case.

Our firm proudly serves people all across Michigan, including major cities like Grand Rapids, Muskegon, Detroit, Lansing, Holland, St. Joe, and Ann Arbor, and rural towns such as Lowell, Ada, Fremont, Newaygo, Grand Haven, Rockford, and Cedar Springs. We will meet you after hours, at home, or in the hospital to accommodate you.

Contact us today.