Medical malpractice suits are more than an everyday occurrence. They can be devastating to both the patient and the physician being sued. As a healthcare provider, do you know the most common cause of this kind of litigation?
Let’s talk about possible malpractice claims and if you could be a target.
The Most Common Cause of a Malpractice Suit
The most common reason a person would file a malpractice suit against a physician is the perceived misdiagnosis of an injury, disease, or chronic condition. In other words, the doctor may have failed to diagnose a health problem, or if a diagnosis were developed, it was done so wrongly.
Accordingly, the subsequent treatment was delayed or incorrect altogether, resulting in death or injury to the patient. Alternatively, a particular treatment plan could be wrongly applied to a particular patient when the physician has misdiagnosed the individual’s health needs.
What the Plaintiff Must Prove
A malpractice suit is never a “your word against mine” situation. Instead, it is incumbent on the person and the attorney bringing the malpractice suit to show:
- What happened to the patient as a result of the misdiagnosis
- How a physician should have diagnosed the patient and how the patient should have been treated
Additionally, a physician can be held liable in a malpractice suit if it can be shown that another doctor would not have made the same kind of error given similar symptoms, medical history, and other factors considered in diagnosing a health problem. In other words, did the physician being sued to follow the accepted standard of care for a particular condition, treatment, or procedure?
Other Causes of Medical Malpractice Suits Against Physicians
While misdiagnosis is by far the most frequent reason for filing a malpractice suit, there are others as well, including:
- Childbirth errors involving injury to the mother, infant, or both regarding medications, improper birthing procedures, poor prenatal care, and more
- Surgical errors total more than 4,000 annually in the US, stemming from the incorrect use of anesthesia, leaving instruments within a body cavity, and others
- Prescription medication errors involving the wrong drug, given via the wrong route, or at the wrong dosage
A large number of medical malpractice suits fall outside of the above categories. In fact, one of the biggest contributors to malpractice litigation is simply how many patients a physician sees and treats. The more patients are seen, the greater the risk of litigation becomes. Also, some cities–particularly highly populated ones–are legally riskier areas for a physician to practice.
Physicians Need the Right Medical Malpractice Insurance
To maximize your protection against potential malpractice litigation, consult the experienced team at eQuoteMD in St. Louis, MO. Our medical malpractice insurance network finds the right coverage for physicians in every state and all medical specialties. Learn what kind of coverage is best for you by requesting your free insurance quote.