Healthcare Errors Most Likely to Lead to A Medical Malpractice Claim

August 19, 2020 by matray

Misdiagnosis and Delayed Diagnosis. According to a 2018 report by the medical professional liability insurance company Coverys, Diagnostic Accuracy: Room for Improvement, diagnosis-related failures are the single largest root cause of medical malpractice claims and result in indemnity payments higher than the next five highest categories combined. More than half (54%) of diagnosis-related claims are considered high-severity cases — with 36% of those cases resulting in death.

Medication Errors. The U.S. Food & Drug Administration estimates that as many as 1.3 million patients are harmed annually as a result of preventable medication errors. According to a 2016 benchmark study of medication errors conducted by CRICO Strategies, one-in-nine medical malpractice claims involve a medication error.

Surgical errors.  According to a 2020 white paper by Coverys, Surgery Risks: Through the Lens of Liability Claims, 25% of the more than 10,000 closed medical malpractice claims analyzed by the medical professional liability insurer cited a surgical allegation. Of those, 78% of surgical allegations were related to practitioner performance during the surgery itself; 47% of those claims from more than 50 surgical specialties involve just three specialties: General Surgery (22%), Orthopedic Surgery (17%), and Neurosurgery (8%).

Childbirth injuries. Medical injuries during child birth are among the most expensive to indemnify. According to the Birth Injury Justice Center, approximately 7 out of every 1,000 children born in the United States will suffer a birth injury. A significant percentage of birth injuries are avoidable and occur because of medical negligence or physical trauma.

Anesthesia injury. According to a 2020 anesthesia closed-claim study by The Doctors Company, the mean indemnity for anesthesia injuries increased by 12.5% since 2013 — from $373,593 between 2007-2012 to $420,250 between 2013-2018.

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