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Most common types of medical malpractice claims

Getting ill or diagnosed with a disease can be life-changing. Residents in Pennsylvania rely on the expertise of doctors, surgeons and medical staff members to determine what is ailing them and establish a treatment plan. When a doctor fails to properly diagnose, or a surgeon makes a surgical error, the patient could suffer greatly.

Patient injury is a serious situation and various studies have been conducted to understand the impacts of these situations and what types of medical errors are most common. According to a recent report, researchers who analyzed 34 studies have determined that misdiagnosis and medication errors are the most prevalent types of malpractice suits.

In the United States, primary care doctors were found to be accountable for between 7.6 and 16 percent of all medical malpractice claims, and the number one reason claims were brought against a primary care physician were for missed diagnoses or misdiagnoses. This accounts for 26 to 63 percent of claims. Regarding these types of claims, the most common consequence was death.

The second most common cause for a malpractice claim was drug error. This accounted for between 5.6 and 20 percent of claims in all the studies analyzed. With regard to all the malpractice claims in the U.S., the analysis of the studies revealed that roughly only one-third of the claims in the U.S. were successful.

When medical malpractice occurs or is suspected, a patient could suffer greatly. Whether it is worsened conditions, new medical conditions or even death, a patient and their loved ones often seek compensation to cover the costs associated with the situation. This could help cover medical expenses, future medical costs, lost wages and other related damages.

Source:, "Missed Diagnoses, Drug Errors Are Major Cause of Malpractice Suits," Accessed on Jan. 12, 2015

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