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Half of Malpractice Claims Communication Based?

Steve Wagner

Nearly half of all medical malpractice claims are related to the improper performance of a physician during surgery, but according to a recent study, the issues may be largely stemming from communication rather than errors.

According to The Doctor’s Company (a physician-owned malpractice insurance company), analysis of over 1800 claims recently showed that nearly half of those claims were made, not because of an error, but because expectations weren’t met for the patient.

What does this tell us?

Essentially, this communicates to us that patients are not communicating with their doctors. Yes, there are still far too many medical errors, but are as many as half of all claims really preventable with a little more communication?

We don’t put this blame onto the patients, however, as they are not the trained medical professionals in these situations. Rather, if a doctor wants to prevent a medical malpractice case during a surgery, they need to do the extra leg-work up front by making sure the patient has FULL informed consent, and that they know exactly what will and won’t happen as a result of the surgery. If there are variables, they need to be explained; if there are risks, they need to be outlined in detail.

If your doctor suggests performing a surgery on you, but doesn’t take the time to fully communicate it with you, become your own advocate and ask for more details. You also have the option to get a second opinion. It never hurts.

Were you Denied Informed Consent?

If you sustained a medical injury due to a surgical error, or because your doctor failed to explain the procedure and you didn’t have proper informed consent, you may be eligible to receive compensation for your injuries.

The medical malpractice attorneys at Wagner Reese offer FREE legal consultations to Indiana & Illinois victims of medical errors. Call our offices today at (888) 204-8440.


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