As a personal injury attorney, I’ve seen many cases in which people have fallen victim to the negligence and wrongdoing of others.
In medical malpractice cases, the effects are usually devastating. Not only is a physician error costly to the short-term health of patients, it will likely have long-lasting effects that the patient must cope with their entire life—symptoms that could have been avoided. In some cases, death is even the result of physician carelessness.
This is troubling particularly because patients typically trust physicians. When someone puts their health in a professional’s hands, they trust them to use utmost caution when making decisions.
I recently found an article from Medical News Today that gives some surprising statistics about medical malpractice.
The study in the article reported on 34 out of 7,152 practices reviewed, with 15 practices in the U.S., nine in the U.K., seven in Australia, two in France, and one in Canada.
In January 2013, researchers found that 16 percent of all medical malpractice claims were against primary care physicians. Missed diagnosis accounted for between 26 percent and 63 percent of all malpractice claims tested.
Most malpractice claims arose from a death, ranging from 15 percent to 48 percent of all claims made for missed diagnosis. Out of those claims, the most common missed diagnoses were heart attack or cancer-related. There were also many alleged missed diagnoses in cases of ectopic pregnancy, appendicitis, and fractures.
Among child patients, the most common claims were related to meningitis and cancers.
Drug errors were the second most common source of malpractice claims behind missed diagnoses.
In the U.S., about one third of claims actually end in a payout. This statistic, above all, proves that you need an experienced medical malpractice attorney by your side if you or a loved one have been injured due to the negligence of a physician.
These statistics, although seemingly frightening, can give us a better idea of the improvement or attrition of medical care in the U.S. and around the world. Over the last 20 years, the study found, the number of malpractice claims brought against American primary care physicians has not changed significantly.
As technology improves, as well as the overall understanding of the human body, I hope that patients will one day enter a physician’s care without fear of mistreatment. As these numbers show, that day is not yet here, and the medical malpractice attorneys at Finney Law Office, LLC are still needed to protect the rights of patients.
Contact us today if you feel that you or a loved one have been the victim of medical malpractice.