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Chicago Personal Injury Blog

What Is the Biggest Contributor to Medical Malpractice Claims?

by Jared Staver in Medical Malpractice

Americans place a great deal of trust in medical professionals. However, sometimes doctors, nurses, and others who work in the healthcare industry can make an error that leads to severe injuries or even death in a patient.

Recently, Coverys, a leading medical professional liability insurance provider, published a report stating that 33 percent of medical malpractice claims between 2013 and 2017 were related to errors during patient diagnosis and more than 50 percent of those claims involved poor clinical decisions.

If you or someone you love has been injured as a result of a medical professional’s negligence, reach out to a Chicago medical malpractice attorney at Staver Accident Injury Lawyers, P.C. today at (312) 236-2900 for a free consultation. We have years of experience legally representing clients in medical malpractice claims and can ensure your rights are protected.

Coverys’ Findings

As stated, Coverys’ found that patient diagnosis errors were the most significant contributor to medical malpractice claims between 2013 and 2017. The second most common cause was surgical or procedural claims at 24 percent, while medical management claims came in third at 14 percent.

Coverys analyzed 10,618 medical malpractice claims and discovered that about 36 percent of the diagnosis-related claims involved a patient fatality. Also, 36 percent of these claims took place in outpatient settings. This is not surprising as outpatient care has become more popular in recent years.

Robert Hanscom, the Coverys vice president of business analytics and author of the report, explained that while most of the causes of medical malpractice claims have decreased, claims related to diagnosis have continued to rise.

Coverys’ report revealed several instances where physicians are more likely to make mistakes in the diagnostic process. Approximately 33 percent of claims related to diagnosis arose because doctors did not evaluate patients appropriately and failed to gain a thorough understanding of their family history. About 52 percent of these claims involved lab testing issues where doctors selected the incorrect test, performed the test improperly, or improperly interpreted the results.

Moreover, 14 percent of all of the claims that were examined were filed against radiologists who design reports for doctors that analyze the tests they ordered. Since reports by radiologists are often complex and lengthy, it can be easy for physicians to miss valuable information.

How Can Diagnosis-Related Medical Malpractice be Avoided?

To prevent diagnosis-related medical malpractice claims, Hanscom recommends a team-based approach. In this type of approach, doctors are encouraged to discuss clinical cases to improve the accuracy of diagnosis.

When there are more professionals involved in the diagnosis stage, errors are less likely to occur. Also, doctors should feel comfortable asking for help if they are unsure about a particular diagnosis.

Why Hire a Medical Malpractice Lawyer?

If you or a loved one is suffering from an injury caused by medical malpractice, seeking legal representation is essential. An experienced medical malpractice lawyer can conduct a thorough investigation of your case and obtain evidence to prove a medical professional’s negligence. They can help you navigate the complexities involved in filing a claim and ensure you receive the full compensation you may be entitled to.

Contact a Skilled Medical Malpractice Attorney at Staver Accident Injury Lawyers, P.C.

Regardless of whether you or a loved one was hurt due to a diagnosis error or another type of error, our team at Staver Accident Injury Lawyers, P.C. can help you during this difficult and challenging time. Contact us at (312) 236-2900 today for a free, no-obligation consultation.