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What are the Most Common Reasons for Medical Malpractice Lawsuits?

A 2017 analysis of data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and a survey by Medscape revealed the most common causes of medical malpractice lawsuits in the United States. Here were the top five results:

  • Failure to diagnose: Approximately 31 percent of doctors surveyed in the Medscape poll said a failure to diagnose a patient’s medical condition led to a malpractice lawsuit filed against them. Doctors must follow certain professional guidelines for diagnostic testing and screening.
  • Injury during treatment: In many cases, these malpractice lawsuits involve injuries that lead to disability or death. These types of claims accounted for 31 percent of malpractice lawsuits in the physician survey. Injuries are often a result of surgical errors, such as operating on the wrong body part or leaving surgical equipment inside the body after a procedure.
  • Failure to treat a condition: In these cases, the patient alleges the doctor failed to provide the proper treatment for the diagnosed condition.
  • Medication errors: Some research indicates medication errors result in at least one death per day in the United States, while injuring another 1.3 million people. These errors could involve prescribing an incorrect medication, prescribing an improper dosage of the medication or prescribing a medication to which a patient is allergic.
  • Poor documentation: Physicians must have thorough and accurate documentation of all aspects of patient care. Improper documentation could result in mistakes being made at other levels of care.

To learn more about filing a medical malpractice claim, work with a skilled personal injury attorney at Jakubowski, Robertson, Maffei, Goldsmith & Tartaglia, LLP.