On behalf of Hastings Law Firm posted in Doctor Errors on Tuesday, June 2, 2015.

After numerous studies about medical malpractice lawsuits and the circumstances that lead to the filing of such claims, results show that one of the primary reasons for patients taking legal action against physicians is poor communication. Texas residents may find it interesting that a 1989 study — using responses of patients and doctors — already indicated this problem. It showed that it was the opinion of about 66 percent of respondents that medical malpractice litigation could be reduced by improved communication and the elimination of communication errors.

Subsequent studies of such lawsuits against obstetricians revealed that in excess of 70 percent of medical malpractice-related cases involved only 6 percent of these professionals. This indicated that some physicians are more prone to be sued for medical malpractice, and it is said that past legal actions against a doctor can be an indication of potential future lawsuits against him or her. A 1992 study of mothers with birth injury complaints about doctor-patient relationships indicated that one-third of the respondents said they were kept in the dark by their physicians, and 50 percent felt that their doctors misled them. As many as 70 percent reported that their doctors failed to warn them about potential long-term problems.

The patients of doctors with records of previous malpractice lawsuits were more likely to feel that they were ignored, not informed about the reasons for required tests, or rushed. In comparison, studies found that physicians who make time for patients to explain their symptoms and their care were less likely to be sued. These doctors are also known to encourage the patients to discuss their medical issues and express their concerns.

Texas residents who have suffered adverse health conditions after treatment by medical professionals may believe that they have viable claims against doctors or facilities. Regardless of whether it involves communication errors or other negligence, obtaining evidence may be tricky. An experienced medical malpractice attorney will have the resources to obtain whatever is necessary to determine whether a claim is viable or not. Once sufficient evidence is gathered, a lawyer will explain the available options for action and then proceed in the chosen direction to protect the client’s rights.

Source: The New York Times, “To Be Sued Less, Doctors Should Consider Talking to Patients More”, Aaron E. Carroll, June 1, 2015