Which medical profession is sued the most?

Posted in: Medical Malpractice | Oct 06,2022

Medical professionals across the U.S. often say they got into their field to make a difference in their patients’ lives, whether to save lives or empower patients to control their health better. Unfortunately, sometimes they unintentionally change a patient’s life for the worse. As a result, they may find themselves in the middle of a medical malpractice lawsuit. This post will answer, “which medical profession is sued the most?” and explore some aspects of medical malpractice lawsuits.

Medical Malpractice Statistics

What medical specialties are most likely to be sued?

According to a 2021 survey conducted by Medscape featuring 4,300 physicians in 29 medical specialties, here are the top ten most sued medical specialties and the percentage of medical practitioners in these sectors that have reported having a lawsuit filed against them:

  1. Plastic surgery/83%
  2. General surgery/83%
  3. Orthopedics/81%
  4. Urology/80%
  5. OB/GYN/79%
  6. Specialized surgery/74%
  7. Emergency medicine/70%
  8. Otolaryngology/68%
  9. Radiology/64%
  10. Cardiology/58%

What is the most common reason for malpractice?

Surgeons had the highest rate of medical malpractice lawsuits. The same Medscape survey asked surgeons the most common reasons for the lawsuits against them. The reasons are as follows:

  • Complications from surgery/treatments/65%
  • Poor outcome/ Progression of disease following the surgery/21%
  • Wrongful death/17%
  • Failure to perform a diagnosis/ Delayed diagnosis/16%
  • Failure to treat/ Delayed treatment/16%
  • The patient suffered an abnormal injury following the surgery/15%
  • Poor or inaccurate documentation of the patient’s instructions and education/4%
  • Lack of informed consent/3%
  • Failure to follow the required safety procedures/2%
  • Errors in medication administration/2%
  • Others/7%

What is Medical Malpractice?

Medical malpractice occurs when a medical professional causes injury or harm to a patient following a negligent act (or failure to act). It can happen before, during, or after the treatment process or procedure. It’s important to recognize that sometimes symptoms of medical malpractice are noticed immediately, but at other times, the symptoms begin after some time has passed. With rare exceptions, theIndiana “statute of limitations” (the time limit for filing a medical malpractice lawsuit) is two years from the date the medical professional committed the malpractice. Because the defendant’s attorney can have a case dismissed if it’s filed outside the statute of limitations, it’s crucial that the injured party contacts an attorney at the first sign of malpractice.

Three elements are necessary to deem a claim medical malpractice:

  1. Doctor-patient relationship: The plaintiff must show evidence that he hired the doctor, and the doctor agreed to treat him. In addition, there must be evidential proof of the agreement between both parties.
  2. There must be proof of a breach of duty on the doctor’s part that resulted in the problem. If you are not satisfied with the result of the procedure, it is not reasonable enough to file a suit against the doctor. The case requires proof that the doctor deviated from the standard medical procedure and caused harm.
  3. It must involve injury or harm. Even in cases where the doctor deviated from the standard procedure, the patient cannot sue the medical professional if no injuries or damage occurred.

What are the Chances of Winning a Lawsuit Against a Hospital?

A study by the National Institute of Health revealed that in about 90 percent of cases where the patients presented weak evidence, the case favored the medical practitioner. Also, in 70 percent of the cases where the evidence provided was borderline, the verdict favored the medical practitioner. In short, it can be difficult for the patient to win a medical malpractice case.

Medical malpractice is one of the most complex areas of personal injury law. One of the most difficult aspects of a case involves causation. Causation demonstrates a solid connection between the medical professional’s negligence and the injury or harm that resulted. It is common for the defendant’s attorney to argue that other personal causes and the patient’s previous lifestyle contributed to the injury. Therefore, the odds of winning a lawsuit against a hospital or medical professional increase with an experienced medical malpractice attorney.

Montross Miller attorneys specialize in complex injury cases, such as medical malpractice. If you or a loved one has suffered from injury or death that you think may amount to medical malpractice, contact us now to get a clearer picture and a path forward.