A recent study found that high-severity injuries make up 58 percent of medical malpractice claims against internists. The Doctor’s Company, a medical malpractice insurer, performed the study. They analyzed 1,180 cases against internists that were closed between 2007 and 2014.
The top three types of claims involved issues surrounding negligent diagnostic practices, negligent treatment practices, and medication errors.
This study shows that many malpractice claims are very serious—and even life-threatening. High-severity injuries could include death, infections, malignant conditions, adverse drug reactions, and life-altering injuries that require permanent care.
At the award-winning firm of Schochor, Federico and Staton, P.A., we’ve handled a wide array of tragic legal claims in Maryland and Washington D.C., many of which involve high-severity injuries.
Terms of the study explained
When considering a medical malpractice claim, you’ll encounter not only a lexicon of legal terminology, you may also hear medical terms, including:
- Internists—this is a type of doctor who focuses their practice on the general health care of adults. They are also known as internal medicine physicians.
- High-severity injuries—injuries are ranked using a system known as the Injury Severity Score (ISS). It helps define a major trauma, such as a high-severity injury. A major trauma is one that has an ISS score greater than 15. Some high-severity injuries are treatable, while others are not.
- Negligence—when someone fails to take reasonable care which other similarly situated people would exercise.
- Medical malpractice—negligent conduct that occurs when medical professionals do not adhere to the standards of their profession, thereby causing injury to a patient.
How to help recognize medical malpractice
If your internist provided negligent care and you or a loved one suffered harm as the result, you may be the victim of medical malpractice. Unfortunately, it is not always obvious and many patients and families are confused about what constitutes medical malpractice.
To get started, take a look back at your treatment history and analyze where missteps might have occurred.
Questions to consider about your treatment:
- Did your doctor thoroughly assess you?
- Were you referred to a specialist or other doctor for a second opinion?
- Did your physician address all your complaints?
- Did your physician ask about your allergies?
- Did your doctor cancel or change appointments several times?
- Was there adequate communication between you, your doctor, and your family?
- Was your medical history documented properly?
- Were you given proper follow-up instructions?
- Did all of your health care professionals communicate?
Questions to consider about the outcome:
Did your doctor fail to diagnose your condition?
- Was there an unreasonable delay in the diagnosis?
- Were you incorrectly diagnosed?
- Were you given the wrong medication or wrong dosage?
These questions are only a starting point. If you are considering a medical malpractice lawsuit, have a skilled attorney review the details of your case to accurately determine whether or not you or your loved one was victimized by medical malpractice.
Baltimore and Washington D.C. attorneys tackle the toughest medical malpractice cases
To learn more about medical negligence, contact the law firm of Schochor, Federico and Staton, P.A. at 1-888-234-0001 today. Our trusted team of experienced medical malpractice lawyers help clients just like you in Washington D.C., Baltimore, and across Maryland.