Why patients end up suing their doctors for malpractice

The threat of being sued for medical malpractice is a real one for those who work in the medical profession. While at least 93 percent of all cases are either dropped or settled outside of court, at least seven percent end up being hashed out at trial. The outcomes of those cases can greatly impact the medical professional's reputation.

Researchers seeking to gain a better understanding of what can be done to reduce doctors' risks of being sued for malpractice have noted varying trends. For one, they've noted that patients desire to have more open communication, including after a procedure has been performed, with their doctors.

They note that doctors are often cited in lawsuits for having been in too much of a rush to answer patient questions or to ask them of patients. They also note that doctors seem to listen to and guide patients less than they'd like.

Doctors also are often sued because they fail to uphold even the most basic of standards of care as prescribed by their state medical board. Although doctors are required to complete regular continuing education requirements in order to stay abreast of the ever-changing standards of care they are supposed to follow, many dodge this requirement to their detriment.

Researchers also point out that doctors also often attempt to assign diagnoses that are beyond the scope of their expertise. They note that doctors all too frequently tell patients they can help with a particular medical ailment when they're not as informed enough to know how to do so. In those cases, doctors could avoid being sued if they had only referred the patient to a specialist.

Other malpractice cases are brought because a doctor fails to get the necessary informed consent from the patient. Before a doctor operates on a patient, it's important that they disclose how the procedure is going to be performed, the risks associated with having it, and the costs involved.

Hundreds, if not thousands, of individuals experience declines in their health each year because their doctors or medical providers fail to provide them with an adequate standard of care. If you've fallen victim to this, then you may benefit from discussing the legal remedies available to you with a Tucson medical malpractice attorney.

Source: TG Daily, "6 ways to reduce medical malpractice risks," Aug. 31, 2017

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