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Why Most Doctors Get Sued

Medscape recently surveyed almost 4,000 primary care physicians and selected specialists to find out if, and why, they were sued. According to the results, 59% were named in at least one malpractice suit – nearly half (47%) were among others named in the suit and 12% were the only parties sued.

When asked about the nature of their lawsuits, respondents could check as many options as were relevant. The top three reasons and their corresponding percentages are as follows:

  1. Failure to diagnose – 31%
  2. Patient suffered abnormal injury – 31%
  3. Failure to treat – 12%

Less than 5% also cited poor documentation or medication errors (both 4%) or failure to follow safety procedures or obtain informed consent (both 3%). By age 54, 64% of the physicians who responded to the survey had experienced at least one malpractice suit over the course of their careers, and after age 60, the percentage rose to about 80%.

Also asked in the report was how doctors feel about plaintiff lawyers. It comes as little surprise that some doctors – who are at risk to, or have been sued – reported negative opinions. However, one doctor wrote in a comments section, that “[the malpractice] lawyer . . . helps to make the quality of medicine in this country what it is today (the best). Without them, doctors would go unchecked . . . I’ve known some pretty criminal doctors over the years.”

The lawyers at Bottar Leone, PLLC take great pride in successfully investigating, prosecuting, and trying to verdict all types of medical malpractice cases. To speak with our experienced legal team about a potential medical malpractice claim, contact the Firm.

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