How often does medical malpractice occur?
When we seek medical attention, we trust that the hospital or doctor responsible for our care will efficiently diagnose and properly treat us. Many of us would be shocked to learn just how common medical malpractice has become in recent years. For the victims of serious medical malpractice, life may never be the same. Our New York medical malpractice lawyers offer some frightening statistics about the true instance of medical malpractice and what you should do if you suspect you have become a victim of malpractice.
Most Doctors Will Be Sued for Malpractice
According to Medscape’s physician malpractice report for 2017, the majority of doctors in the United States, some 55 percent, have been sued for medical malpractice. This represents a 15 percent increase in malpractice lawsuits since the publishing of the last Medscape report in 2013. The frequency of medical malpractice lawsuits cuts across specialties, but surgeons and obstetrician/gynecologists were most likely to face legal action. Top reasons for the medical malpractice suits include failure to diagnose a patient’s condition, delayed diagnosis, and complications arising from treatment or surgery.
Malpractice Is a Leading Cause of Death Nationwide
A 2016 study conducted by several Johns Hopkins researchers and published in the British Medical Journal found that medical errors are the third leading cause of death in the United States, following mega killers heart disease and cancer. Medical errors were found to have caused ten percent of deaths in America annually.
Researchers further posit that the true incidence of medical malpractice could be far higher. Currently, reporting of medical malpractice related deaths is not standardized. Deaths occurring in out-patient clinics, nursing homes, and non-hospital settings are not included in the John Hopkins study. It is accordingly possible that the actual number of people that die annually due to medical negligence exceeds 400,000 a year.
Patients should take away from these studies the importance of looking out for their own medical care and seeking legal assistance as soon as they believe they have suffered an injury or illness due to medical negligence. Medical malpractice cases are complex and have stringent timelines for filing. Do not delay in seeking the help of a medical malpractice attorney as soon as possible after your injury.