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Why Are Doctors Sued?

Can you guess what kind of medical error account for most malpractice payments: Perhaps surgical mistakes, overdoses or maybe obstetric errors? If you guessed any of the above, you would be wrong. The most common cause of paid claims for malpractice is errors in diagnosis. According to recent research, 28.6 percent of all medical malpractice payments (from lawsuits) are caused by diagnostic mistakes.

This information comes from the National Practitioner Data Bank. NPDB takes into account all legal actions that are taken against state-licensed healthcare practitioners. Medical treatment and surgery mistakes came in as the statistically second and third most common types of medical errors that warranted legal action.

All other types of medical mistakes, including medication, monitoring, anesthesia, etc. only accounted for 20 percent of legal malpractice settlement/verdict payments. Between the years 1986 and 2010, more than 100,000 diagnostic errors were recorded. This accounted for 33.8 percent of all disabilities resulting from medical malpractice and nearly 40 percent of medical malpractice deaths.

The senior author, Dr. David E. Newman-Toker, an associate professor of neurology at Johns Hopkins, said that “this is a major health problem,” and that physicians, hospitals and insurers all need to contribute to fixing it. “At the policy level,” he said, “there is no institute that views it as their problem.

He went on to state that there is still much room for improvement. Making an accurate diagnosis is paramount when it comes to finding the right treatment for patients. Our firm handles all types of medical malpractice cases and claims from surgical mistakes, pharmaceutical overdoses, obstetric errors, orthopedic errors and misdiagnoses in all specialties.

Categories: Medical Malpractice


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The Law Firm of Steven I. Fried, P.C. - Bronx Personal Injury Attorney
Located at 5600A Broadway, Bronx, NY 10463.
Phone: (212) 964-5777.
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