Most Medical Malpractice Lawsuits Tied to Doctors With Multiple Claims
Posted on behalf of Stewart Bell, PLLC on Mar 04, 2016 in Medical Malpractice
According to a new study conducted by Stanford researchers, nearly one-third of all medical malpractice lawsuit s are associated with just one percent of all physicians.
The small percentage of doctors responsible for the staggering number of lawsuits have distinct characteristics that set them apart from other physicians.
The study, published in The New England Journal of Medicine, focused on 66,000 claims that were filed against 54,000 doctors from 2005 to 2014.
Data from the study indicated that doctors who had the highest number of malpractice claims were most likely to be older males. Additionally, four areas of practice were associated with more than half of the medical malpractice claims . These practice areas include obstetrics and gynecology, internal medicine, general practice or family medicine, and general surgery.
However, a physician's past was the best indicator as to whether or not they would be associated with a high number of malpractice claims. Physicians who had at least three prior claims filed against them were three times more likely to accrue another one. Similarly, doctors with four claims filed against them were four times more likely to face another claim.
For the study, researchers focused primarily on medical malpractice claims that resulted in a payout to the victim, as these types of claims are potential markers of substandard medical care. Out of the claims reviewed, one-third ended in a patient fatality while 54 percent resulted in serious injuries.
Stanford researchers are confident the study helped them recognized important risk factors associated with medical malpractice lawsuits. The study also helped researchers become aware of the significant amount of doctors who are still practicing medicine despite having multiple claims filed against them.
Following the study, researchers stated that malpractice insurers and hospitals must work diligently to identify physicians with the highest risk of medical malpractice claims. They must stage an intervention to determine which doctors are at high risk for potential claims, and then they should implement additional training and close supervision.
If you or someone you love has been injured due to a doctor's negligence, contact Stewart Bell, PLLC today to discuss your legal options with our skilled medical malpractice attorney s. You may be eligible to file a lawsuit and receive the justice and compensation you deserve.