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Doctors Charged with Medical Malpractice Likely to Be Repeat Offenders

According to a recent study published in the New England Journal of Medicine, doctors who commit medical malpractice once are more likely to be charged with malpractice a second, third, or even fourth time. In fact, according to the study, one percent of doctors account for 32 percent of all malpractice claims in the U.S. What’s more, out of 66,246 claims analyzed (from a federal database), there are only 54,099 doctors named.

Doctors Likely to Be Charged for Malpractice Multiple Times

The study concluded that doctors who had paid out medical malpractice claims twice were twice as likely to have another claim filed against them. Doctors who had paid six claims were 12 times as likely to have another claim filed against them. The more claims a doctor had paid, the higher the chances that the doctor would have an additional claim filed against them.

Who Is the Most Likely to Have a Claim Filed Against Them?

Based on this study, doctors who have been sued and paid compensation for malpractice are more likely to be subject of additional claims of medical negligence. Statistically, there is also a connection between a physician’s practice area and the likelihood of litigation. For instance, neurosurgeons and orthopedic surgeons in the study were two times as likely to have a claim filed against them. Pediatricians, on the other hand, were 30 percent less likely to have claims filed against them.

Gender also plays a role. Male doctors are more likely to have multiple medical malpractice claims filed against them then women. Indeed, male doctors involved in the study had a 38 percent higher risk of recurrence. You can read a synopsis of the study in The New York Times.

When Bad Doctors Are Allowed to Continue Practice Medicine

The vast majority of doctors practicing in New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and elsewhere in the United States have never had a claim filed against them. Which is part of the reason that the statistics above are so concerning. It begs the ultimate question – why are doctors who have had multiple malpractice claims filed against them allowed to continue practicing medicine?

As a patient, one of the best things that you can do to protect yourself from malpractice is to thoroughly research a medical professional and the facility in which they work prior to seeking care. If a doctor has been subject to multiple medical malpractice suit, it may be in your best interest to find another doctor.

Medical Malpractice Attorneys Serving Pennsylvania & New Jersey

The experienced medical malpractice attorneys serving Pennsylvania and New Jersey at the law firm of Cohen, Placitella & Roth, P.C. believe that doctors who act negligently should be held liable for the harm that they cause. If you are a victim of medical malpractice, let our attorneys represent you during your claim for damages. We will happily meet with you free of charge to discuss your case in more detail and provide you with an opportunity to learn more about the claim’s process. To get started, contact us online or call us today at (215) 567-3500.

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