7 Reasons Doctors Get Sued For Medical Malpractice

By: Matthew Crist – 10 January 2016

When any patient goes into a doctor’s office, she is placing her trust in the doctor to provide the best possible care. When that trust is broken, patients deserve to receive a remedy. The increasing demand on a doctor’s time and the dwindling amount of time that doctors are spending with their patients means that people are not getting the care they deserve.

A recent survey by Medscape determined the top seven most frequent causes of lawsuits in medical malpractice.

  • 31% of the lawsuits surveyed were failures of the doctors to diagnose. This may be the most egregious breach of the trust patients place in their doctors. At the Coleman Law Group we have assisted clients to pursue a remedy against their former treating physicians who have failed to diagnose illnesses and injuries. This category of malpractice tends to be very clear in retrospect, however, most clients cannot determine that there has been a failure to diagnose on their own;
  • another 31% of lawsuits surveyed were based upon a patient suffering an abnormal injury from the procedures and treatment;
  • 12% of the plaintiffs suffered because of a failure of the medical professionals to treat the patient;
  • 4% came from a failure to inform the patient or to document the education;
  • 4% of the cases stemmed from a medication error;
  • 3% of the cases were caused by a failure of the medical staff to follow safety procedures;
  • and 3% from lack of informed consent.
  • Another alarming fact came out of this survey. According to the report, 42% of the doctors surveyed believe that medical organizations are not doing enough to reduce lawsuits.

    I have long opposed tort reform and a $2.25 million cap on damages for medical malpractice because that is treating the symptom and not the disease. The reason people are suing is because they’ve been injured. Injured people should not be punished. Tort reform should, instead, focus on better treatment, streamlining doctor, nurse, staff, and patient communication procedures, and effective communication instead if throwing forms at patients and barking orders at them to sign away their rights. The fact that only 13% of those surveyed believed the best way to stop lawsuits was “doctors should stop making medical errors” demonstrates that the community does not understand the disease.

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