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Facts about Civil, Tort, and Medical Malpractice Caseloads

Tort cases make up a small percentage of civil caseloads
According to the most recent data [2013] from the National Center for State Courts (NCSC):

  • Tort cases made up less than 3% of total civil caseloads in twelve of 24 reporting states
  • In eight reporting states, they made up 3 – 5%
  • In four reporting states, they made up 5 – 7.5%

Medical malpractice cases make up less than 1% of civil caseloads
In 13 of 14 reporting states, med-mal cases made up between 0.06% and 0.2% of total civil caseloads. The highest rate, in the 14th state, was 0.035%.

Less than 1% of all civil cases are resolved by juries

In 20 reporting states, jury trials for civil cases made up 0.06% to 0.62% of total civil caseloads.

Most tort cases are not resolved by juries

The percentage of tort cases resolved by trial by jury was remarkably low in all 17 reporting states:

In eight states: Less than 2%
In six states: 2% to 3%
In two states: 3% to 4%
In one state: 5.9%

Most medical malpractice cases are not resolved by juries

Percentages of med-mal cases resolved by juries were also low in 13 reporting states:

In three states: Less than 3%
In five states: 3% to 6%
In three states: 6% to 9%
In two states: Above 9%

All rates were consistent with the NCSC’s data from the previous year.

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