Doctors are human, which means they sometimes make mistakes. Although patient self-advocacy is an important part of effective medical care, doctors who fail to exercise due care and best professional practices can be deadly.
According to research by the National Institute of Health, medical malpractice kills 225,000 people each year. The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention don’t include preventable medical error as a cause of death. If they did, doctor mistakes would be the third leading killer in America – placing between cancer (about 567,000 deaths per year) and chronic lower respiratory diseases (approximately 137,000 deaths per year).
Nonfatal errors can also be tragic, and are even more common. The Institute of Medicine reports 1.5 million injuries from medication errors alone each year – making it the 5th most common cause on nonfatal injury in the United States.
Types of medical malpractice vary widely, with surgical errors the most common source of successful claims among inpatient procedures. For outpatients, diagnostic errors that allowed an injury or illness to worsen unchecked were the most common actionable doctor mistakes.
A study published in the New England Journal of Medicine reports that neruosurgeons were the most likely of medical specialists to face a malpractice suit, responsible for 19.1 percent of claims. Other high-risk specialties included thorasic-cardiovascular surgeons (18.9 %) and general surgeons (15.3 %). Psychiatrists, pediatricians and general family practitioners were the least likely specialists to become involved in a doctor error lawsuit.
The costs of medical malpractice top $35 billion a year in direct expenditures, not counting lost wages and individual suffering. If you or a family member has been hurt by a preventable medical error, our team of medical malpractice attorneys have the experience and expertise to hold those responsible to the standards of their profession. Our No Fee Promise means that you don’t pay us if they don’t pay you. Call our office now at (800) 606-1717 to speak with one of our experienced Buckfire Law injury lawyers.