5 Reasons Doctors Get Sued for Malpractice

On Behalf of | Jun 11, 2019 | Medical Malpractice

a doctor with hands on his head and looked depressed

Doctors get sued for malpractice when their actions cause harm to their patients. There are many reasons a physician can be held liable in a lawsuit. In the United States, the following are five of the most common reasons that patients sue their doctors. In many cases, these causes are part of a chain of errors that place patients at greater risk of injury or death.  Here are some reasons doctors get sued for malpractice:

1. Poor Communication

Poor communication with patients or other members of the medical team can result in deficient care and poor patient outcomes. Poor communication can lead to the administration of the wrong treatment, over-prescription of potentially fatal prescriptions, and avoidable pain and suffering. Physicians and members of the medical team have a duty of care that requires them to provide clear and concise information to patients and their guardians. 

2. Delayed Diagnosis

Physicians who fail to thoroughly analyze a patient’s injuries or suspected illness can miss critical details that correctly identify the source of the injury or illness. Doctors who fail to order the proper tests and provide a thorough examination of their patient can delay the proper diagnosis, which in turn delays the proper treatment. In cases where cancer and other potentially fatal illnesses or injuries are present, this can have deadly consequences.

3. Failure to Secure Informed Consent

Patients and their caregivers have the right to be fully informed regarding the treatments administered, potential outcomes, and potential risks. Physicians who fail to secure informed consent prior to administration of treatments violate their responsibility to their patients. In Illinois, physicians are required to receive consent prior to administering medication, performing surgery, or administering any form of treatment to patients.

4. Poor Record Keeping

Physicians, nurses, and administrative staff are required to keep and maintain thorough and accurate medical records. When members of the medical team fail to properly document treatments administered, prescriptions, and patient health status, these errors are often part of a larger pattern of negligent behaviors. When records are incomplete or inaccurate, they can result in improper referrals, wrong surgeries, and other forms of negligent care.

5. Improper Prescriptions

Failing to properly consider drug interactions or over-prescribing opioid medications can have serious consequences. These can cause fatal drops in blood pressure, organ failure, and drug addictions. When physicians prescribe the wrong medications, a Chicago medical malpractice lawyer can help patients recover compensation for the injuries that they endure.   

What to Do After an Incident Involving Malpractice

With a better understanding of why doctors get sued, it’s important to know what to do if you believe you are a victim of medical malpractice at the hands of your doctor. Following any type of incident involving medical malpractice, these are some key steps you can take to sue the doctor through a malpractice lawsuit or claim:

Seek a New Doctor

If your doctor may suspect you’re about to file a malpractice lawsuit or claim, you should switch doctors before continuing care. Doing so can help prevent further instances of malpractice and keep the doctor from potentially taking steps to compromise your case.

Get Copies of Medical Records

Your medical records may help prove your case and serve as invaluable pieces of evidence. By getting a copy of them, you can ensure you have valid medical records that nobody can modify.

Document the Experience

While the malpractice incident is still fresh in your mind, you should write about the experience in a journal. You should also document continuing care and recovery. This journal may be able to further prove the extent of your injuries.

Consult an Attorney

The next step would be to speak with a medical malpractice lawyer. He or she may be able to review your case and help you file a successful claim or lawsuit.


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