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Most Doctors Will Face a Medical Malpractice Lawsuit

A recent study found that most doctors will have to face a medical malpractice lawsuit at some point in their careers. However, the study also found that most of these lawsuits would not conclude with a monetary payment to a plaintiff.

If you believe that you have been a victim of medical malpractice, you will need legal help in order to get the compensation that you deserve. You should contact a personal injury attorney and have your case evaluated at no cost or obligation to you.

The study gives a comprehensive analysis of the risk of a medical malpractice lawsuit that physician specialty has faced in over two decades. It found that the risk of facing a malpractice lawsuit varies from about 5 percent in low-risk specialties to almost 20 percent in specialties of the highest risk.

Malpractice payment


In each of the years analyzed by the study, it was revealed that 7.4 percent of all doctors had a medical malpractice lawsuit that was made against them. However, only 1.6 percent of these doctors ever had to make a malpractice payment.

Neurosurgery was the specialty that faced the highest risk of facing a medical malpractice lawsuit at 19.1 percent. This was followed by cardiovascular and thoracic surgery at 18.9 percent and general surgery at 15.3 percent. The lowest risk of facing a malpractice lawsuit came with family medicine at 5.2 percent, pediatrics at 3.1 percent and psychiatry at 2.6 percent.

It might surprise you to know that only around 20 percent of all of these medical malpractice lawsuits resulted in a financial payment to a plaintiff, and the specialties with the highest risk of facing malpractice lawsuits were not always the ones most likely to have to pay claims.

Average claim


In cases where doctors had to pay a claim, the average claim was nearly $275,000. The cumulative career risk of doctors having a medical malpractice lawsuit filed against them was 99 percent in the high-risk specialties and 75 percent in low-risk specialties.

Data in the study showed over 230,000 physician-years of coverage that involved 41,000 individual doctors. The investigators figured the annual percentage of doctors in each specialty that had a malpractice lawsuit filed against them. They distinguished the lawsuits that resulted in a financial payment, which came either from a court decision or an out-of-court settlement, and they measured the amount of these payments.

A surprising thing


The surprising thing was that the probability of having a medical malpractice lawsuit filed against them at some point during the career of doctors was so high, while the vast majority of these malpractice lawsuits did not end with a financial payment to a plaintiff. The conclusion being that any one going into the field of medicine, regardless of their specialty, can be reasonably sure that they will have a medical malpractice lawsuit filed against them at some time during their career, but the risk of having to make a financial payment is low.

Again, if you believe that you have been a victim of medical malpractice, the best thing to do is to have a personal injury attorney evaluate your case at no cost or obligation to you.

Article written by James Shugart

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