Types of Medical Malpractice Explained


Every state has their own laws and regulations regarding what constitutes medical malpractice and how they handle instances where a doctor or other medical professional fails to meet the standards of care. Here, we will cover some common legal definitions for healthcare related negligence cases, so read on.

1. Negligence

Negligence is the most common type of malpractice. Generally speaking, negligence occurs when a medical professional falls below the standard of care in their community for treating patients by failing to act or making mistakes that could have been avoided with proper care and skill. To prove negligence, four elements must be present: duty, breach of duty, causation, and damages. A medical professional owes a duty to a patient when providing services. This is the standard that they must follow when treating or diagnosing a patient with any health issue or circumstance. If they fail in this duty, then it constitutes negligence. In this case, if you live in Philadelphia, you can find a medical malpractice attorney in Philadelphia that can help you. The breach of duty can come in many forms, including mistakes made during an operation, prescribing medication for the wrong ailment, failing to treat a serious injury properly, etc.

2. Breach of Standard Care

Breach of the standard of care is another term for negligence. It means that a doctor or medical professional failed to follow the standard of care for treating a patient under certain circumstances. For example, if you are pregnant and your OBGYN does not adequately screen you or take into account your personal health history before administering anesthesia during childbirth, then they have breached the standard of care. This mistake could result in complications for either the mother or child, so compensation may be necessary. Causation is a bit harder to prove when dealing with a breach of standard of care claim. In order to win in a breach of standard of care case, it also must be proven that the negligence caused the damages complained of by the patient.

3. Failure to diagnose a serious condition

Failure to diagnose a serious condition is a type of medical malpractice, where the patient suffered from a lack of proper diagnosis that could have been discovered or treated properly had it been caught immediately. In many cases, this failure to diagnose results in misdiagnosis and improper treatments. In some cases, patients go for years without getting diagnosed with certain conditions because their doctors failed to properly identify them upon first examination. When the failure to diagnose is coupled with poor treatment resulting from misinformation due to inaccurate diagnosis, these cases can be more difficult for the plaintiff to win. A case may only be won on causation if the initial injury was not life-threatening, but then became so due to time or further exposure through improper care.

malpractice4. Medication errors

Medication errors are commonly seen in medical malpractice cases. They can encompass a number of different mistakes made by a doctor, pharmacist, or nurse when they prescribe, dispense, and/or administer medications to a patient that results in injury or wrongful death. The most common reasons for medication errors are that the doctor failed to properly read the prescription before administering it. In other cases, doctors give out too much medication because they misread the dosage instructions on the bottle.

Why Should You Hire A Medical Malpractice Attorney?

Medical malpractice lawyers are the only ones who can represent you in a medical error case. They have to be knowledgeable of all the factors involved in these types of cases, so they are the only ones qualified to help you. Your doctor will not handle your complaint to them, but instead refer it straight to their insurance company that specializes in settling these kinds of claims out of court. Insurance companies do not generally pay well for these things either, which is why it is beneficial to hire an attorney. Also, there are time limits for filing cases against different providers, so if you want to win your case, then you definitely need legal representation right away.

What Are Medical Malpractice Exceptions?

In many states, certain medical professionals are not held accountable if their mistake is considered “minor” or within the normal standard of care for their profession. These include: emergency room doctors and nurses who fail to diagnose a condition that is not easily recognized through vital signs, psychiatrists who prescribe medication without performing a comprehensive examination, and physical therapists or chiropractors who do not properly diagnose the patient. Being aware of what states have exceptions to medical malpractice laws can help you file your case if needed.

By understanding the different types of medical malpractice, it is easier to understand which type you are dealing with in your case. If you suffered some kind of injury or had a loved one who died due to poor medical care, contact an attorney today for help on filing your claim. A legal representative will be able to assist you and make sure you get the justice you deserve.

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