Types of Medical Malpractice Cases

Types of Medical Malpractice Cases

Any professional negligence caused by an act or omission by a health care provider during the treatment of a patient, falling below the accepted norms of practice in the medical community and causing an injury or death in a patient can be considered a medical malpractice. 

According to data from the Medical Malpractice Center, between 15,000 to 19,000 medical malpractice suits are filed daily against doctors in the United States.

Statistics show that California is among the three states with the largest amount of medical malpractice reports, which has caused many people to seek professional advice and assistance from personal injury attorneys who handle such cases.

If, for instance, someone who is a resident of a California city such as San Diego, has been a victim of a surgical mistake or hospital error, they are advised to get in contact with experienced San Diego personal injury attorneys who can help them recover damages related to their injuries or grief. Knowing how to act in such unfortunate situations can help a person avoid substantial medical bills, and extended medical treatments. In turn, it will save them time and offer them peace of mind.

Medical malpractice takes many different forms and since it’s the third leading cause of death in the country, in this post, we look at what the most common types of medical malpractice cases are.


Image: Pexels
Image: Pexels

A diagnostic error, or so-called misdiagnosis, is considered medical malpractice if it leads to the patient suffering from a physical, or psychological injury or illness or death, but could have been avoided if adequate measures had been taken in the patient’s contact with the healthcare system.

An example could be a delayed cancer diagnosis, where the right treatment has not been initiated in time, which can lead to impaired opportunities for the patient to recover.

As mentioned before, knowing how to act promptly is key and if, by any chance, you live in the San Diego area, make sure to find the top medical malpractice lawyers in San Diego as soon as possible and leave it up to them to handle your case. Medical malpractice is one of the most complex types of personal injury cases to prove and taking a serious approach is a must.

The right legal experts will show what the treating doctor did wrong and how a skillful and competent healthcare professional should have gone about diagnosing the condition under the same circumstances.

Surgical Errors

Image: Pexels
Image: Pexels

The most obvious incidents of medical malpractice happen during surgical procedures. Certain types of surgical errors are known as “never events,” meaning that the medical profession acknowledges that such errors should never occur. Sometimes, patients do not even need expert testimony in such cases as negligence may be obvious.

A doctor may leave a foreign object in the patient’s body, operate on the wrong patient or the wrong area, and carelessly injure another part of the body while the patient is on the operating table. This can leave long-lasting or permanent harm and trauma on the patient.

Anesthesia Errors

Although relatively infrequent, anesthesia errors can be more dangerous than surgery mistakes and should never be taken for granted. Even if an anesthesiologist makes the smallest error, it may cause devastating consequences and even result in permanent injury, brain damage, and death.

A typical mistake is when an anesthesiologist fails to review a patient’s medical history for possible risk factors and complications and fails to provide the patient with the right information about necessary preoperative procedures. In some cases, they may fail to monitor the patient’s vital signs while administering anesthesia or improperly intubate the patient, or simply use defective equipment. 

Birth Injuries

Gynecologists, obstetricians, and other medical staff can cause a number of injuries to a fetus during pregnancy or the child during the birth process by failing to meet professional standards of care. A doctor might fail to order a cesarean section, or fail to handle complications properly.

Some cases can turn out to be quite severe, such as profound brain injuries, cerebral palsy, fractured bones, or some type of paralysis. If a doctor’s negligence caused these conditions or the doctor failed to treat a condition that led to these conditions, this can be described as medical malpractice.

Medication Errors

Image: Pexels

It’s not rare for patients to be given medications that they weren’t supposed to get in the first place, which gives rise to a claim of medical negligence. Medication errors can cause patients to suffer an injury if prescribed an inappropriate medication or dosage, and get a life-threatening reaction if a doctor, nurse, or other medical professionals fail to check for drug allergies or harmful interactions with existing medications.

In a hospital setting, a very common form of medication error is when wrong medication has been given to the wrong patient when defective hospital equipment has been used although the most common mistake involves administering the improper dosage.

Final Thoughts

Medical malpractice cases require a lot of attention and expertise. Establishing liability is not easy so if you or a close member of your family has an injury or medical condition you believe was caused or made worse by medical malpractice, conferring with legal counsel is strongly recommended. Skilled and experienced lawyers will explain your rights and what type of compensation you may be entitled to.


I am a pop culture and social media expert. Aside from writing about the latest news health, I also enjoy pop culture and Yoga. I have BA in American Cultural Studies and currently enrolled in a Mass-Media MA program. I like to spend my spring breaks volunteering overseas.

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