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Most Common Reasons Doctors Get Sued

No doctor or medical professional wants to find him or herself the object of a medical malpractice lawsuit. However, even with the best of intentions and a commitment to the profession and art of medicine, it’s possible for anyone to have an off day or to make mistakes.

Medscape recently released its Malpractice Report for 2015. The report was conducted after Medscape surveyed some 4,000 primary care physicians and selected specialists. Below are the seven most common reasons a doctor can get sued. 

Failure to Diagnose – In the case of malpractice law, the failure to diagnose comes in the highest at 31%. When a doctor fails to diagnose a patient’s condition in a timely manner or to misdiagnose their injury, illness or overall condition, it can result in a condition that could lead to worsening symptoms, permanent injury or even death.

Patient Suffered an Abnormal Injury – In a direct tie for the top reasons physicians are named in malpractice suits is when a patient is injured while they are under a doctor’s care. This could be because the standard treatment was incorrect and causes further injury or even death. Because doctors ultimately make decisions on how patients are treated, mistakes can be made. The number of malpractice lawsuits that have been introduced due to patients who have suffered an abnormal injury is also at 31%.

Failure to Treat – If a patient has been improperly treated, whether they are under treated, and treatment is delayed or if it is not the correct treatment, it is considered grounds for a potential malpractice lawsuit. At 12%, there are a considerable number of lawsuits because a medical professional improperly or incorrectly gives treatment for a patient’s condition.

Poor Documentation of Patient Instruction & Education – When a patient receives treatment, that patient should always be instructed on continuing proper treatment for their illness, injury or condition in order to ensure that they recover as fully as possible. However, 4% of respondents to Medscape’s survey indicated that poor patient documentation and errors in patient instruction accounted for malpractice lawsuits.

Errors in Medication Administration – Administering the wrong medication or giving an improper dosage of a medication accounted for some 4% of medical malpractice lawsuits in 2015. The incorrect administration of medication results in 1.5 million patients in the U.S. each year. However, in a court of law it must be shown that the doctor or medical professional has been negligent in some way and caused harm to the patient.

The last two conditions were failure to follow safety procedures and physicians that did not properly obtain or give a measure of informed consent. Both were involved in 3% of cases.

Every patient who seeks medical treatment has the right expect that the level of quality healthcare they receive will be to a certain standard no matter where they go or what they are being treated for. This standard of care is what healthcare providers are required to adhere to. This expectation follows a certain set of standards of care and when it comes to matters of behavior and ethics. Most doctors and healthcare providers adhere to these standards. However, those who don’t should be held accountable for their actions.

If you believe that you or a loved one believes they has suffered as a result of medical malpractice or other medical related personal injury, contact the law offices of Bottar Leone, PLLC today. We’ll meet with you and carefully evaluate your claim. There is absolutely no charge to meet with us. Call to schedule a free initial consultation. You may contact us at our toll free number (888) 979-1689, or at (315) 313-6809, or reach us by email at