Research published in the
Journal of American Medical Association: Internal Medicine has shed light on the five main reasons internists are sued. Researchers
analyzed nearly 250,000 closed medical malpractice claims presented to
Physicians Insurers Association of America between 1985 and 2009 and found
33,747 of those cases involved internal medicine clinicians. Those cases
were then categorized into the five most common reasons.
Incorrect Diagnosis of Primary Medical Condition. Representing 34% of claims paid, with a median payout of $183,000, misdiagnosis
seems like a logical #1 reason for malpractice. In a field where diagnosing
patients is the specialty, the fact that this type of claim accounted
for over one-quarter of all closed claims is alarming.
Breach of Care Due to Other Shortcomings. This includes items that are not necessarily errors in the dispensing
of medical care, but rather, external factors such as, breakdown of equipment
or failure to obtain consent. This was the second most frequently noted
type of claim that paid out in 4.8% of all closed cases, for a median
sum of $114,150.
Errors in Performance of Procedures. Representing 11.1% of all closed internal medicine malpractice claims,
less than one-third of the claims were paid. The median payment was $103,203.
Failure to Monitor Subordinates. Certainly, there are conditions under which a reasonable person would
realize that a physician could not be responsible for mistakes made by
his assistants, or subordinates. On the other hand, there are some situations
where a nurse or resident is acting as a proxy for the physician, and
physicians are responsible for setting expectations and monitoring the
work of their subordinates. With a median sum of $141,875, 31.1% of closed
claims in this category were paid.
Incorrect Prescription or Administration of Drugs. This type of claim accounted for the smallest percentage of malpractice
claims. Administering wrong dosages, failing to enquire about known allergies,
and prescribing medication with documented side effects and failing to
follow up with patients about undesirable reactions, are all examples
of this kind of claim.
Philadelphia Medical Malpractice Lawyers
If your life has been forever changed because of a medical malpractice
injury, you have legal rights. Proving medical malpractice can be a complicated
and time-consuming ordeal. The compassionate medical malpractice attorneys
at Golomb & Honik, P.C. understand that you have already been through
enough, and we want to help you move on with your life by getting you
the compensation you deserve.