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Why Does Medical Malpractice Occur?

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Why Does Medical Malpractice Occur?

Medical malpractice can be defined as the failure to provide “the degree of care another clinician in the same position with the same credentials would have performed that resulted in injury to the patient.” In the United States as of 2013, there have been an estimated 210,000 to 440,000 deaths due to illness caused by a medical examination or treatment. According to the American Medical Association, around 1/3 of clinicians of being sued at least once during the duration of their career. Ultimately, medical malpractice occurs due to negligence on the clinician’s part. Thus, clients rightfully feel the need to sue their medical provider in order to receive compensation for the wrongful acts that ultimately resulted in injury.


According to a study completed by The Doctors Company of closed claims from 2007-2013. The three major issues found that led to a medical malpractice claim being filed included, a diagnosis error, medical error, or a communication issue.

Diagnosis Errors

  • Failure to diagnose
  • Delayed diagnosis
  • Incorrect diagnosis

Medical Errors

  • Failure to order appropriate tests
  • Failure to address abnormal results
  • Failure to use clinical information and establish the differential diagnosis

Communication Issues

  • Failure to communicate
  • Failure to review the medical record
  • Poor professional rapport
  • Not using qualified interpreters when needed.

Studies have found that if physicians work on creating a strong communication aspect with their client, their relationship in general will greatly benefit, reducing the chances of the patient filing a medical malpractice claim.


Lack of Training

When using a new Electronic Health Record System, one of the most important aspects of implementing the usage, is ensuring that all physicians know how to effectively and accurately utilize the technology. However, adequate training is not always a reality. This lack of training will ultimately result in erroneous use of the technology causing further issues down the road.

User Errors in the transitioning phase

When first switching over from paper to this new electronic record system, user errors such as mistakes in entering data can cause gaps in documentation, that will then cause issues when communicating to patients or doctors.

System errors

With most new technology, it can be somewhat unpredictable. Technological errors will happen, which can cause a disrupt in the data being recorded, which then may result in a wrong diagnosis or something similar.



Lack of communication between a medical care provider and their patient can often result in issues that could have been resolved had they better communicated with each other. Taking the time to make sure that your patient knows exactly what is happening and what it will entail will ensure that there are no surprises. And if something does happen to go wrong, creating a strong client relationship may also reduce the likelihood of them filing a claim against you.

Adequate Training

In order to minimize the likelihood of someone filing a medical malpractice claim it is essential that the physician ensures that they are performing the duties to their best of their ability. Some instances that could be avoided involve the lack of training or user errors. In order to reduce the chance of these types of errors it is quintessential that all staff is required to go through rigorous training with any new technology implemented within the facility. Adequate training will likely increase efficiency with the use of technology and reduce the likelihood of user errors.


Physicians have a responsibility to disclose any errors to the patient. No matter what consequences may arise from these errors, the patient has the right to know. Once this information is either disclosed to you from your physician or you recognize that something went wrong regarding the care you were provided, contact your physician immediately. Often times the medical professional and client can reach an agreement that may include complimentary care to correct whatever went wrong that caused an injury of some sort. However, it’s not always that simple. If both parties cannot come to an agreement, the client may then take it upon themselves to file a medical malpractice claim.

Before filing a claim, it is best to contact your lawyer to discuss the best action to take in regard to your specific situation. In most states there is a statute of limitations that coincides with how long you have from the date you discovered your injury to file your claim. In the state of Illinois, you have 2 years from the date of discovery to file a medical malpractice claim. Another important step to take before filing a claim is to get a medical assessment. This assessment will evaluate whether your physician deviated from the standard of care, and if that error directly resulted in your injuries. After this assessment is complete and it is understood that the health care provider did not perform the standard of care, your attorney will then be able to file a “certificate of merit” which will then allow to move on in your medical malpractice case.


Whiteside & Goldberg, Ltd. has successfully worked on numerous Illinois medical malpractice cases. They know that there are many tricky scenarios that can lead to a medical malpractice case. You can get a sense of your legal position by taking advantage of their free consultation. Your current finances should not deter you from seeking help. WG Law Group does not charge you a cent until they have secured a settlement for you. For more information, contact them by calling 312-334-6875 for the WG Law Group Michigan Avenue location or at 815-730-7535 for their Shorewood office. Call today to begin your journey to fair compensation.

The content of this blog is intended for informational purposes only and does not constitute or establish an attorney-client relationship, nor constitute legal advice. If you wish to discuss any further aspect of the material contained herein, please contact an attorney at Whiteside & Goldberg, Ltd.

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