A study published by The Doctors Company in 2015 revealed that the types of physicians most apt to be sued were emergency room doctors. While one of the most frequent reasons that they ended up getting sued was because of their delayed diagnoses, there were some other themes that were commonplace when the insurer reviewed seven years' worth of its settled medical malpractice cases.
All doctors working in hospital emergency rooms in the United States are required to medically screen patients who come in seeking help regardless of whether they have insurance or the means to pay. This is legally mandated under the Emergency Medical Treatment and Labor Act (EMTALA), which went into effect in 1986.
Whether being seen for a routine checkup, calling in to refill a prescription or being cared for in the hospital, patients frequently interact with nurses more than they do doctors or any other medical professionals. They're often tasked with managing the care of hundreds of patients and are called to make spur of the moment decisions when emergencies arise. This can expose them to a significant liability risk.
Each year, as many as 185,000 Americans have at least one of their limbs amputated. While you may think that these incidents occur as the result of car or workplace accidents, they don't. Instead, a large percentage of amputations happen because of poor management of vascular conditions such as peripheral artery disease (PAD).
During the course of their careers, at least one-half of all physicians will face a medical malpractice case, according to the health care research firm Medscape. The rate at which doctors will face medical liability lawsuits will vary greatly depending on speciality though.