Which State Has the Most Medical Malpractice Suits?


If you're thinking about pursuing a career in medicine, the possibility of getting sued for medical malpractice has probably crossed your mind (and if you're considering a new doctor, you likely want to know his or her track record). According to a survey from the American Medical Association released in 2010, over 60 percent of doctors age 55 and older have been sued at least once in their career. That's a scary statistic for aspiring doctors to hear. But as the map above shows, doctors are more likely to face this problem in some parts of the country than in others.

For its infographic, the career resource site Zippia used information from the National Practitioner Data Bank to calculate which states had the greatest number of malpractice suits in 2015. Louisiana had the highest rate of lawsuits, with 44.1 per 100,000 residents. Oklahoma wasn't far behind with 36.3 suits, followed by Delaware with 35.2.

If you're a medical professional with the freedom to move anywhere in the country, it looks like Hawaii is the place to be. Only 4.9 out of every 100,00 Hawaiian residents filed lawsuits against their doctors last year. North Carolina had the second-lowest rate of lawsuits with 10 and Georgia rounded out the bottom of the list with 11.3 suits.

Where you live isn't the only factor that determines the likelihood of getting sued by a patient. Rates of malpractice lawsuits also vary widely by specialization. A recent Medscape survey found that 83 percent of all general surgeons and 85 percent of OB-GYNs have faced lawsuits in the past. The same survey also found that the most common reason for a lawsuit is a doctor's failure to diagnose.

All images courtesy of Zippia.