What are the five most common types of medical malpractice?

When you visit a Doctor to help with an illness or injury that you have, you are placing a great deal of trust in that individual and essentially putting your life in their hands. Medical Professionals are bound by professional ethics and codes of conduct meaning that they need to give you the best level of care that they are able to do.

Unfortunately, every year there are thousands of medical malpractice cases in Los Angeles alone and throughout the whole state of California. Medical malpractice occurs when the care provided to a patient directly causes a condition to get worse or an injury to occur.

When attempting to prove that medical malpractice occurred, the plaintiff must show that a medical professional failed to uphold the standard of care for the situation. In other words, would another doctor with similar training in a similar situation have made a different diagnosis? This is why it can be important to get a second opinion if you are considering filing a medical malpractice claim. Hiring a lawyer who is also a qualified MD can greatly assist with these types of claims also.

The types of medical malpractice are as follows, starting with the five most common types:

Failure to diagnose an illness or diagnosing an incorrect illness is a common medical mistake. As the name suggests, “misdiagnosis” occurs when a medical provider improperly diagnoses a patient’s symptoms. Misdiagnosis is usually related to serious illnesses, such as heart disease or cancer. This is a common cause of medical malpractice claims and an example includes a patient who was told he didn’t have a heart problem but had actually already suffered a heart attack and shortly after had a more serious attack.

Surgical errors
Errors during are another common type of medical malpractice. Mistakes during surgery such as operating on the wrong body part, leaving instruments inside people or incorrect monitoring or use of machinery. An example of a case won by our lawyers is a $3,300,000 settlement for a 70-year-old man who was injured during a spinal surgery when a surgeon inserting an artificial disc into the spine caused a piece of bone to break off and traumatically compress the spinal cord

Failure to treat
This refers to a doctor or medical professional’s failure to take the proper steps to diagnose or treat your condition. If the failure was caused by a medical error or negligence, you may have a medical malpractice claim. Some examples of failures to treat/diagnose include diagnosing a condition based on incorrect test results or failing to carry out necessary tests.

Birth injuries
These are typically physical injuries experienced during childbirth, and can affect either the mother or the baby. In newborn babies, a birth injury (often called ‘neonatal birth trauma’) can include many things, from bruising to a broken bone, or more serious conditions such as a brain injury or nerve damage.

Prescription drug errors
Mistakes involving medication can include prescribing an incorrect drug for the condition, prescribing a drug which the patient is allergic to, miscalculating the dosage or failing to administer prescription drugs.

Negligent cosmetic procedures
Cosmetic treatment performed without the necessary care or skill can result in physical or psychological damage and have a devastating effect on patients. There are thousands of cosmetic procedures carried out every year in Los Angeles and although most patients are happy with the results. Sometimes things go wrong and there is reason to claim for negligence.

Dental Mistakes
Mistakes during dental treatment include misdiagnosis of tooth decay, failure to take x-rays before treatment begins, performing unnecessary procedures, and incorrect filling placement or extraction techniques. This may lead to additional costs for corrective treatment as well as pain and trauma.

Care Home Negligence
These are typically very sad cases where a resident is being mistreated or neglected and often results in an injury or illness from more minor injuries such as pressure sores to medical malpractice claims or even wrongful death.

Victim of medical malpractice sleeping in a bed

How to proceed if you think you have a claim for medical malpractice

Substandard care from a medical provider can negatively affect all aspects of an injured patient’s life, from physical and emotional damages to serious financial hardships. Results such as loss of work, permanent disability, loss of quality of life, and loss of future wages are a few examples of the possible negative impacts.

Book a consultation with one of our California based medical malpractice attorneys today and see how we can help get your claim started.

* The articles provided on the Stalwart Law website are for informational purposes only and are not intended to be used as professional legal advice or as a substitute for legal consultation with a qualified attorney.  

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