How Common is Pediatric Malpractice?

If you suspect that your child is the victim of pediatric malpractice, you may also wonder just how common cases like yours are. We’re here to answer your questions and provide you with more information regarding the frequency and severity of pediatric malpractice.

Grounds for Pediatric Malpractice Claims

While many situations can give rise to pediatric malpractice, one of the most common types is misdiagnosis. This is defined as a delayed or missed diagnosis of a medical condition or illness. Should a condition or disease go unnoticed or misdiagnosed, the child may receive the improper medication or no medication or treatment at all. A lack of medication or the wrong medication could result in unnecessary harm to the child and further increase the risk of greater complications.

Research Results

As of 2014, the American Medical Association found that compared to other medical professionals, pediatricians have the least amount of malpractice claims filed against them. While nearly 70 percent of gynecologists were hit with malpractice claims from 2007 to 2008, less than 30 percent of pediatricians had malpractice cases brought against them. This is of course great news until you realize that these numbers still open the door for thousands of pediatric malpractice cases every year.

In-depth Findings

While pediatric malpractice suits are less common than other types of medical malpractice cases, those brought against pediatricians are often severe. The Physician Insurers Association of America conducted a study that spanned from 1985 to 2011. The results revealed that pediatricians ranked 10th among 28 medical and dental specialties in which malpractice claims were closed. Pediatricians also ranked relatively high among the 28 specialties for the total cost of indemnity, which was more than $600 million during the study’s time frame.

Compared to the overall median for all medical and dental specialties, pediatricians paid nearly 30 percent higher for medical malpractice. After neurosurgery, neurology, and gynecology, pediatricians had the fourth largest indemnity median.

Cause of the Severity

You’re likely wondering why there’s such an extreme disconnect between how often pediatricians are hit with malpractice claims and the financial fallout of the claims that are successfully brought against them. One of the main reasons is because the victims in these cases are infants and children rather than adults. The final amount of damages is largely determined by the cost of the victim’s future medical care and lost wages. If a child’s injuries or conditions are extensive or lifelong, then the total cost of medical expenses and the time required to care for the child is often more than that required for adult plaintiffs.

If you believe your child is the victim of pediatric malpractice it is important to seek out an experienced pediatric malpractice attorney to determine the strength of your case and your legal options. Quick action is essential to building a case and protecting your child’s legal rights. Contact McGehee ☆ Chang, Landgraf, Feiler for more information.