Medical malpractice is a type of personal injury that can dramatically affect someone’s life with a severe injury or lead to death. This type of personal injury can range from a mistake when prescribing a medication to severe negligence, which can include forgetting steps in surgery and even operating on the wrong patient. A medical malpractice claim can be a lengthy process that could take a couple years to settle. These cases can settle at an amount ranging from $250,000 to $5 million and even more depending on the negligent act.
JOURNAL OF MEDICINE STUDY
A recent study came out in the New England Journal of Medicine on the prevalence and characteristics of physicians who are prone to malpractice claims. The study revealed that only 1% of the 54,000 physicians observed during the study accounted for the vast majority of paid medical malpractice claims. In the 10-year study, about 84% of the 1% had one malpractice claim, while the remaining 16% had 2 to 3 claims against them. Even though these claims were tracked over a 10-year span, any of these cases could have ended in severe injury or death for the patient.
QUALITY OF PHYSICIANS
The New England Journal of Medicine gives us an understanding that almost a fifth of the claims were against repeat malpractice offenders. It is important to be aware of who you trust with you and your families healthcare. There are a couple sources you can check to see if your doctor has had any complaints in the past such as your state’s medical board. The National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA) is another resource which has a strict approval system that provides resources to consumers on quality health care providers.