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Are surgical errors the most common in medical malpractice cases?

When you think of medical malpractice cases in Illinois, what do you think of first? Do you recall the stories that people sometimes tell of surgical errors, such as a doctor leaving an instrument inside a person after surgery or removing the wrong limb? These things carry a certain dramatic weight, so they are discussed frequently, but the fact of the matter is that surgical errors are not the most common.

Instead, according to a recent study, diagnostic errors are the ones that show up the most. Researchers carried out this study at Johns Hopkins University, and they looked at data from the last 25 years. They believe that a huge number of people could have been subjected to these mistakes in the United States along, though they did put the range at anywhere from 80,000 people to 160,000 people.

To find the percentages, the study looked at the cases that had paid out: a total of 350,706 cases. What they found was that a full 28.6 percent related to errors in making a diagnosis.

Of course, each case is different, but common examples include doctors who do not spot things like cancer, believing them to be less dangerous ailments. When medical conditions are given the wrong diagnosis and then given improper treatment as a result, the impact on the patient can be huge. The study found that patients were even more likely to die because of these mistakes.

Many people trust doctors and put their lives in those doctors' hands; these people also need to know what options they have when the doctors make mistakes.

Source: Huffington Post, "Diagnostic Errors More Common In Medical Malpractice Claims Than Surgical, Medication Errors: Study" accessed Jan. 22, 2015

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  • "Committed To My Cause"

    I was struck by a car while cycling and severely, almost fatally injured. A team of excellent medical professionals performed complicated and extensive surgical and medical procedures as part of a successful effort to restore my health....-Jeff D.

  • "Could not have made a better choice"

    We found Mark [Mathys] through the web after an auto accident in October 2011. While selecting someone you don't know to represent you can be a gamble, we could not have made a better choice....- Dave

  • "Very satisfied"

    Mark [Mathys] is very professional. He responds almost immediately, via email, to any question, comment or concern I have and if he is not able to respond right away, he will let me know. I have been very satisfied with Mark so far and I am happy to be his client.-Jennifer

  • "Easy to talk to"

    Mr. Mathys and Mr. Schneid were very professional and easy to talk to. Prior to working with them, my wife and I had no real experience with the legal system beyond a house closing, yet Mr. Mathys and Mr. Schneid explained the whole process to us very well. I knew that whenever I had a concern about our case or the legal system in general I could call their office or send an email and receive answers the same day...-Larry

  • "Provided very wise advice"

    I've dealt with attorneys on a variety of issues, almost all of them since leaving college and entering the workplace. Mr. Mathys was the first attorney I had any real experience with, and I was impressed then and remain so. He provided very wise advice and always kept me informed. In the end, he delivered a favorable result. I recommend him highly.- Tyler D.

  • "In-depth knowledge of the law"

    Mark [Schneid] is an excellent and skilled attorney and demonstrated in-depth knowledge of the law when he helped settle my dog bite lawsuit resulting from a traumatic incident. He explained what was needed of me and how I should handle the situation in a professional manner.- Karen K.

  • "They went to bat for me"

    Not long ago I was involved in a car accident where I was hit by a gravel truck at an intersection. After I called Mathys & Schneid, even though I didn't have a very large case, they made me feel like I was one of their most important cases. They went to bat for me with the trucking company's insurance and got me a settlement. I would definitely recommend them to my family and friends.-Dan H.

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