PHOENIX (3 On Your Side) - Across the country, the number of medical malpractice claims related to COVID-19 is going up, according to new data compiled by Justpoint, a company that connects victims of alleged malpractice with attorneys who can take the cases.

In March, as the pandemic was beginning to take off in the U.S., less than 1% of medical malpractice claims were related to COVID-19. Now it's up to about 5% nationwide, according to Victor Bornstein, the founder and CEO of Justpoint.

Borstein says there may be a variety of reasons for the spike in these claims, including staffing issues caused by COVID-19, equipment shortages, and policies preventing hospital visitors.

"You come to the hospital. You're in poor condition. You cannot advocate for yourself, and you have a loved one telling the doctor or nurse, 'He's allergic to this. You cannot give them this medicine. He also takes this other medicine,'" Borstein said. "If those people are not there, which right now they are not that much because of COVID and you limit how many people can get to the hospital, those mistakes happen more often."

Justpoint says Ohio leads the nation with the most malpractice claims related to COVID-19. The company says Arizona is close to the bottom of the list with just 1.4% of malpractice claims being related to COVID-19.

 

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