What is Medical Malpractice?

What is Medical Malpractice?

Most of the time when you seek medical help you get the right treatment. But, sometimes things do not go so smoothly.

So much so that it becomes necessary to file a medical malpractice suit. It is important to understand what medical malpractice is so that you can recognize the fact it has happened to you and take the appropriate action.

The dictionary definition

According to the Macmillan Dictionary, medical malpractice is: “carelessness or improper treatment by a health care worker that results in injury or death.” That is actually a very good explanation of what it is.

Suffering due to faulty products or poorly tested drugs

But, that definition does not mention that you can also file a medical malpractice suit if you are injured or die as the result of a product or drug that was used during your treatment. So, for example, if you had your hernia repaired using surgical mesh, which is now cutting into your body and causing pain, you could sue. In that situation, your lawsuit would fall into the category of medical malpractice.

You may also have a case if the drugs you have been treated with have caused high levels of side-effects or caused injury. An example of this would be thalidomide, which caused some babies to be born with severely malformed and shortened limbs. You can read the full story of this historic, ground-breaking lawsuit by clicking here.

Violations of standards of care

It is also possible to file a lawsuit if the normal standard of care has not been given. For example, a broken bone has not been set within a reasonable period of time or it has not been done properly.

Failure to diagnose lawsuits

Failing to diagnose a health condition which then worsens or causes pain and suffering is another example of a situation in which a lawsuit could be filed. This could be because lab results have not been read properly or, worse, the right tests have not been ordered in the first place.

Not taking a proper medical history

Sometimes not taking a proper medical history leads to late diagnosis. This is also negligence.

Injuries relating to surgeries

Errors made during surgery almost always fall into the category of medical negligence. It could be leaving equipment in the body cavity or carrying out the wrong procedure. This does not happen very often. But, it is not unheard of for the wrong person to have an organ or limb removed.

Premature discharge lawsuits

Most medical facilities are under a lot of pressure. Waiting lists are long. As a result, some patients end up being discharged too early. Before they are able to take care of themselves or their bodies have recovered enough for them to manage properly without medical supervision. These medical malpractice cases are relatively rare, but they do happen.

Regardless of why you believe you have a legitimate medical malpractice case, you need to seek the advice of an appropriate lawyer. Ideally, you should be talking to someone who has handled medical cases that are similar to yours.


Jeffrey likes to write about health and fitness topics, being a champion fitness instructor in the past.

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