There are over 150,000 medical malpractice lawsuits filed annually. A recent survey of 4,000 doctors found that nearly half, or 47 percent, were named in such a lawsuit. So, obviously lots of doctors are getting sued.
But some kinds of doctors get sued more than others, and surgeons are particularly susceptible. Here is a list of the top five types of doctors most likely to be subject to litigation, according to CBS News.
Top 5 Targeted Doctors
1. Neurosurgeons: Brain surgery, like rocket science, is not supposed to be easy. Not everyone is cut out to be a surgeon and few do the highly delicate work of neurosurgeons. More than any other type of doctor, they are medical malpractice lawsuit targets, sued at a rate of nearly 20 percent a year, or one in five.
2. Thoracic-Cardiovascular Surgeons: Doctors who specialize in surgery of the esophagus and heart do not have it easy either. They are sued at a rate of 18.9 percent a year.
3. General Surgeons: All kinds of surgeons get sued, not just the specialists, and this applies to general surgeons. They are sued at a rate of slightly more than 15 percent a year. That means that more than one in ten general surgeons a year face lawsuits for medical malpractice.
4. Orthopedic Surgeons: From head to toe, it’s tough on surgeons when it comes to litigation. Doctors who specialize in foot surgery are sued at a rate of more than 14 percent a year.
5. Plastic Surgeons: Sometimes plastic surgery is medically necessary or done to repair damage from an accident, so those who specialize in this field do not all engage in purely elective surgeries. Like other surgeons, these specialists are highly likely to get sued, and do at a rate of nearly 13 percent.
No One Is Exempt
Beyond the surgeons, doctors are sued for all kinds of medical malpractice. People trust these professionals with their bodies and when that duty of care is breached, patients want justice.
If you have been injured by a doctor or healthcare provider, speak to a lawyer. Many attorneys consult for free. Get help. Get your claim assessed.
- Have an injury claim? Get your claim reviewed for free. (Consumer Injury)
- Proving Fault in Medical Malpractice Cases (FindLaw)
- State Law Summaries: Medical Malpractice and Reform (FindLaw)