5 Common Types of Medical Malpractice Legal Cases

5 Common Types of Medical Malpractice Legal Cases

When we visit a health care facility, be it a doctor’s office, clinic or hospital, we are entitled to a certain standard of care. We should expect proper attention and treatment, what would be considered acceptable by similarly trained and experienced health care providers under the same circumstances.

Sometimes, however, health care professionals, through their actions or their inactions, are negligent resulting in serious injury to the patients that have been entrusted to their care. In such cases, an aggrieved patient could sue for medical malpractice. Here are five common types of medical malpractice that often lead injured parties to seek out the services of a competent personal injury law firm.

1- Birth Injury

Complications can arise both during pregnancy and in the delivery room, and obstetricians and other medical professionals caring for mother and unborn child need to do their due diligence to help ensure the best possible outcomes. During pregnancy, the health of both mother and child should be monitored closely. If, for example, her doctor fails to diagnose a medical condition and take reasonable steps to mitigate the situation–resulting in harm to her baby–it could constitute medical malpractice.

Likewise in the delivery room, failing to respond properly if the baby is in a breech position, is showing signs of fetal distress, or if there are placental problems are all possible causes for a medical malpractice suit.

2- Doctor Negligence

Does it often seem when you visit your general practitioner that they ask a million and one questions about your health history, your medications, and your overall well-being? There’s a good reason for it. If you have an established doctor-patient relationship, your doctor is obligated to provide a duty of care that would be reasonably expected of any doctor in a similar situation.

If your doctor fails or is slow to treat your condition or if they fail to tell you about available treatments for it, and it leads to your condition worsening, they could be liable for a medical malpractice lawsuit. Doctors might also be negligent if they fail to assess or monitor a patient’s condition or if they improperly prescribe medications.

3- Hospital Negligence

If as a patient, you’ve been medically injured in a hospital, it might stand to reason you could sue the facility for medical malpractice. However, most physicians who treat people in hospitals are independent contractors who are simply given staff privileges. To sue a hospital for medical malpractice, the offending physician would need to be an actual hospital employee. Barring that, one would have to demonstrate that the hospital was negligent in granting staff privileges to an incompetent doctor.

Proving a facility’s negligence by knowingly granting staff privileges, however, can often be difficult to prove, and it’s best if you’re considering that route to discuss the matter with a personal injury law firm with experience in this area.

4- Surgical Errors

There are some surgical procedures that everyone agrees should never happen. Surgical errors such as closing up a patient’s body after surgery with a sponge or surgical instrument left inside, amputating the wrong body part, or operating on the wrong patient altogether are clear examples of negligence. Serious injuries may also occur as a result of a negligent anesthesiologist who applies too great a dosage or who fails to properly monitor a patient’s vital signs.

5- Misdiagnosis

Patients should expect their physicians to be well-educated in their field of expertise. Unfortunately, sometimes doctors either incorrectly diagnose or are slow to diagnose a condition that any reasonably competent doctor in the same field should have been able to readily identify. If, as a result of that misdiagnosis, treatment for the condition was never done or delayed causing the patient’s condition to become more severe, they could be subject to a medical malpractice suit.

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