According to studies published in the New England Journal of Medicine,
doctors are sued even more than you might realize.
The study analyzed data from a large national carrier for the years 1991-2005,
incorporating 230,000 physician-years of coverage. During each year of
the study period, 7.4% of all doctors had a malpractice claim. Only 20%
of which, either through settlement or judgment, led to payment, while
the majority of claims resulted in no payment to the plaintiff.
The risk of being sued by age 65 of a high-risk specialist was nearly 100%,
while the lifetime risk of a low-risk physician was almost 80%. The annual
risk of being sued for certain specialists was as follows:
- Neurosurgeon 19%
- Thoracic surgery 19%
- General surgery 15%
- Orthopaedic surgery 14%
- Plastic surgery 13%
- Gastroenterology 12%
These alarming statistics show that the risk of being sued is significant
and solidify the claim that there is good reason for defensive medicine.
Defensive medicine involves the recommendation of diagnostic tests or
treatments that are not necessarily in the best interest of the patient,
but an option that facilitates protecting the physician against the patient
as a potential plaintiff.
Medical Malpractice in Florida
Anytime the treatment provided by a healthcare professional falls below
the accepted standard of practice in the medical community and causes
injury or death to a patient, professional negligence in the form of
medical malpractice has occurred. Approximately 195,000 people die every year because of medical
errors, as reported by Medical News Today. According to Diederich Healthcare,
2012 saw $3.6 billion in payouts for medical malpractice nationwide, averaging
one payout every forty-three minutes.
Despite medical malpractice growing at its slowest rate in fourteen years,
these claims could still carry significant financial consequences for
the healthcare industry in 2014.
According to the
Journal of the American Medical Association, medical negligence is the third leading cause of death in the United
States, behind only heart disease and cancer. Being proactive about your
healthcare is the best way to avoid becoming one of these medical malpractice
statistics. Don’t be afraid to ask your healthcare provider questions.
Speak up and be your own advocate.
Contact Broward County Malpractice Lawyers
If you have been injured or a loved one has died due to the negligence
of a healthcare professional, the Broward County
malpractice lawyers at Kelley/Uustal can offer expert advice on your legal issues. Our experienced
medical malpractice attorneys work with clients on a one-on-one basis
and help determine the best course of action for each individual situation.
To learn more about your legal options, call our Broward County malpractice
(954) 715-4511 or
888-522-6601 for a free consultation.