Medical malpractice happens when a doctor, another healthcare professional, or a healthcare provider like a hospital or clinic neglects to follow recognized standards of care.
For instance, when doctors misdiagnose conditions, delay diagnosis, or fail to diagnose conditions, it can result in patients missing out on treatments that could help them. In turn, that means the patients’ conditions could worsen. Patients can even die due to medical malpractice.
Negligence can also be caused by incorrect treatments and wrongful aftercare or health management.
To find out whether some patients are more at risk of medical malpractice, we need to explore which types of health professionals are most commonly sued for medical malpractice and which types of malpractice are most common.
Which healthcare professionals face the most medical malpractice lawsuits?
By looking at the Medscape Malpractice Report, we can see which types of health professionals faced the most medical malpractice lawsuits in 2021.
According to the study, 83% of medical malpractice lawsuits were brought against general surgeons and plastic surgeons, 81% were brought against orthopedists, and 80% were brought against urologists.
The study also found that 62% of specialists and 52% of primary care physicians faced claims for medical malpractice in 2021. 31% of medical malpractice lawsuits concerned failure to diagnose while 29% were due to complications from treatments.
Which states have the highest number of medical malpractice lawsuits?
Based on the findings of the Medscape Malpractice Report into account, we can see that patients who have health problems that are handled by general practitioners, plastic surgeons, orthopedists, and urologists are more likely to be at risk of medical malpractice than other patients.
Furthermore, patients who live in certain areas may be more at risk.
According to the Medscape Malpractice Report, the top ten states for medical malpractice in the U.S. in 2021 were:
- New York.
- New Jersey.
- South Carolina.
- North Carolina.
You Should Hire a Lawyer if You’re Affected by Medical Malpractice
Before we look at the most common conditions that result in medical malpractice lawsuits, it’s worth briefly mentioning that if you’re a victim of medical malpractice, or if a family member died due to medical malpractice, you’re entitled to pursue compensation.
Begin your journey by contacting an experienced law firm in your local area, such as Chicago’s qualified medical malpractice attorneys.
What are the most common conditions that result in medical malpractice lawsuits?
When looking at various studies about medical malpractice in the U.S., it becomes clear that misdiagnosis is the number one cause of malpractice claims.
Delayed diagnoses, in which patients’ conditions are not diagnosed as early as they should be and can therefore lead to patients missing out on important treatments, are also very common.
And cancer, which is one condition that generally responds well to early medical intervention, is one of the most common illnesses that is the basis for delayed diagnosis lawsuits. The other most common causes of medical malpractice are as follows.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, incredibly, one in thirty-one hospital patients have healthcare-acquired infections, such as urinary tract infections and bloodstream infections, on any given day.
That statistic is worrying because infections can easily spread and, if they’re not diagnosed, can lead to severe health conditions and even death.
Childbirth injuries are one of the most common conditions of medical malpractice lawsuits. When a child is injured during or straight after birth, it can result in conditions like seizures, cerebral palsy, and paralysis, to name just a few.
According to the World Health Organization, approximately 1.3 million people in the U.S. are injured every year because of medication errors. That means, sadly, at least one death every day in the U.S. is due to medication errors.