Male and Female Recoveries in Medical Malpractice Cases

By Simmons, Walter; Emanuele, Rosemarie | Review of Social Economy, March 2004 | Go to article overview

Male and Female Recoveries in Medical Malpractice Cases

Simmons, Walter, Emanuele, Rosemarie, Review of Social Economy

Abstract This study analyzes male and female recovery resulting from medical malpractice injuries to discern the importance to the recovery differential of gender differences in recoveries for medical malpractice injuries. We find that the pattern of recoveries follows one similar to that found in studying wage differentials between males and females. Differences in the relative magnitudes of foregone earnings and nonmarket loses are reflected in the composition of recoveries. In addition, we find a recovery gap in which females receive substantially less in recoveries when they receive male's average compensation for medical malpractice injuries. However, only a small portion of the male and female recovery differential is explained by the characteristics of the claims, leaving a substantial portion of the differential unexplained.

Keywords: malpractice, litigation, recoveries, decomposition


The growth in the number and size of medical malpractice claims has been a major public policy issue for almost thirty years. Concern over the issue led to two national malpractice insurance crises in the mid 1970s and 1980s, and a variety of tort reforms. The legislative reforms, which were enacted in all 50 states and the District of Columbia, addressed a variety of problems such as, alternative dispute resolution mechanisms, certificates of merit, limits on attorney fees, public access to National Practitioner Data Bank information on repeat offenders, collateral source offsets, periodic payment of awards, limits on damage awards, use of clinical practice guidelines, and enterprise liability. Medical malpractice litigation has become one of the largest components of the tort system and is widely held responsible in part for the high cost of health care both because its expense is passed along directly in insurance rates and because it compels physicians to practice costly defensive medicine (Harvard Medical Practice Study 1991).

There is now a substantial body of work that evaluates the effects of tort reform legislation and other variables on medical malpractice legislation. Danzon (1984, 1986) analyzed the contributions of various factors, including tort reform laws, to changes in the frequency and severity of malpractice claims over time and across states. Sloan et al. (1989) used malpractice cases throughout the United States to analyze the effects of various tort reform laws on the probability that there will be a recovery, the amount of the recovery, and the time required for a claim to be resolved. Coyte et al. (1991) studied the determinants of the frequency and severity of Canadian malpractice claims. Barker (1992) used statewide data to analyze the effect of tort reforms on the relative price of malpractice insurance. Farber and White (1991), analyzing malpractice claims against a single hospital, found that the quality of medical care was important in determining malpractice liability, whether there is a recovery and, if so, the amount paid. Bovbjerg (1989) provides a useful survey of all types of legislation that have affected medical malpractice; laws concerning insurance regulation, the quality of medical care, and tort reform.

Despite the enormous public and legislative interest about medical malpractice claims, developments in legal doctrines and legal procedures have not been able to comprehensively address the variety of medical malpractice problems. Research on the connection between negligent medical care and legal liability is essential in improving equitable fault determination and standards. There are several commonly held beliefs about the current legal processes relating to medical liability and malpractice. One theory proposes that lay juries are not capable of fact-finding in complicated medical cases. Another speculates that procedural rules and requirements for establishing legal causation are overly complex and do not include the scientific methodology necessary for accurate determination of medical causation, while yet another says that the legal process does not effectively reject merit less claims, while significant numbers of individuals injured by negligent medical care do not file claims. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • A full archive of books and articles related to this one
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Cite this article

Cited article

Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)


1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25,

Cited article

Male and Female Recoveries in Medical Malpractice Cases


Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25,

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

    Already a member? Log in now.