California Medical Malpractice Information

  • What is the average medical malpractice settlement in California?

    The average medical malpractice payment in California for 2022 was $218,745. Going back to 2004, the average malpractice payment in the database is $183,713.

  • How many medical malpractice settlements have there been in California?

    In 2022, there were 1051 medical malpractice payments made in California. Among all of the various jurisdictions, this ranked number 3 out of 59 in terms of raw numbers, but when viewed in terms of claims per capita, California ranked number 31 of 59, which includes the 50 states, the District of Columbia, U.S. territories, and Armed Forces populations.

  • What is the most common type of medical malpractice claim in California?

    Across the country, the most common allegations giving rise to medical malpractice payments are "Failure to Diagnose" and "Improper Performance." California is among those jurisdictions for which the top allegation appearing in the database is "Improper Performance." The second most frequent allegation appearing for California in the database is "Failure to Treat."

  • Which type of healthcare provider pays the most medical malpractice claims in California?

    Among all claims, the vast majority (about 70%) of the payments are associated with care provided by MDs. California is no exception. The second highest type of healthcare provider associated with malpractice claims in California is a dentist.

A few notes about this: The database only shows which claims were paid and does not include claims that were presented but rejected. Also, the database does not include payments by non-providers like health systems and hospitals. There are also some number of claims that go unreported each year. Finally, the information contained in the reports is self-reported by the providers, their insurance companies, and other provider representatives.
California Medical Malpractice Payment Amounts By Year
California Medical Malpractice Payments By Year

The Largest Medical Malpractice Payments for California (2004-2022)

YearStateAmountAllegationFull Report
2013California$12,500,000Failure to Perform Resuscitation
2015California$9,750,000Improper Management
2018California$8,750,000Improper Management
2007California$7,450,000Wrong Blood Type
2008California$7,450,000Failure to Recognize a Complication
2017California$7,050,000Improper Performance
2007California$6,550,000Delay in Performance
2008California$6,550,000Failure to Medicate
2019California$6,450,000Improper Management
2006California$6,250,000Delay in Diagnosis

California Statistics at a Glance

Average Payment (2004-2022): $183,713

Total Payments in Database (2004-2022): 24,948

Average Payment (2022): $218,745

Total Number of Payments (2022): 1,051

Rank in Average Payment (2022): 50

Rank in Number of Payments Per Capita (2022): 31 of 59 Jurisdictions

Most Common Allegation (2022): Improper Performance

Most Common Allegation in 2021: Improper Performance

Most Common Nature of Claim (2022): Treatment Related - 41% of all payments

Type of Provider with Most Payments: Physician (MD)

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