The Top 3 Most Common Types of Medical Malpractice Lawsuit Cases

The Top 3 Most Common Types of Medical Malpractice Lawsuit Cases

by / Wednesday, 01 March 2017 / Published in Medical Malpractice

There isn’t just one main type of medical malpractice case. Negligence from doctors and other medical professionals can take on many different forms, such as surgeries performed on the wrong site or patient, mistakes in the lab, or problems caused by inadequate staffing levels. While there are a huge amount of potential causes of medical malpractice, these are three of the most common types of malpractice lawsuits.

Misdiagnosis/Delayed Diagnosis

Sometimes, it can be very difficult for doctors to immediately arrive at the correct diagnosis. Since it’s very common for multiple illnesses to have very similar symptoms, arriving to the correct conclusion can involve a process of elimination. But that doesn’t mean doctors and other medical professionals can’t be held liable if a medical condition becomes worse over time or the patient dies as the result of a misdiagnosis or a delayed diagnosis. If a doctor arrived at an incorrect diagnosis because of something like a mistake during a lab test or because they failed to notice something that another doctor working under similar conditions should have reasonably noticed, that can be the basis of a medical malpractice lawsuit.

Birth Injuries

A birth injury differs from a birth defect in the sense that birth injuries typically happen during labor and delivery while birth defects are the result of a genetic predisposition. If you were expecting to give birth to a healthy baby, but your child was born with an injury, that could be a type of medical malpractice. Birth injuries can range in severity from being injuries that are very treatable to things that will have a very long-lasting impact on the child’s life. Things like broken bones, cerebral palsy, erb’s palsy, and brain injuries can all be classified as birth injuries. Very often, birth injuries are caused by failing to notice signs of fetal distress, not ordering a cesarean section soon enough, or misuse of delivery tools.

Birth injuries also aren’t necessarily limited to injuries that happen to the child; they can happen to the mother as well. Birth injuries can also include injuries to the mother that were the result of a highly traumatic birth, if they could have been avoided if the doctor involved had been acting more competently. They can also include things that were missed before labor and delivery, such as failing to diagnose a birth defect, failing to diagnose a medical condition in the mother, or not noticing other things that could make delivery more complicated.

Medication Mistakes

Every year, about one and a half million people in the United States are injured as the result of a medication error. There are several different ways medication mistakes can happen, such as if the patient was given a wrong prescription or if a doctor or pharmacist failed to realize one medication would interact with another. Dosage mistakes are the most common type of medication error, though, such as if a nurse gives a patient the incorrect dosage, if the doctor writes the incorrect dosage on the prescription form, or if the pharmacist mistakenly fills the prescription with the incorrect dosage. Dosage mistakes can also happen if a patient in a hospital is being administered medication through something like a pump and the equipment isn’t working properly.

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