What Are the Most Common Types of Medical Malpractice?
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The Most Common Types of Medical Malpractice

Rachel Olszewski
Rachel Olszewski

As one of the leading personal injury law firms, we often face the question: what is the most common type of malpractice?

While there is no definite answer to this question, medical malpractice happens more often than you think. According to John Hopkins Medicine, medical malpractice is the third leading cause of death in the United States, falling just behind heart disease and cancer. Their patient safety experts have calculated that more than 250,000 deaths per year are due to medical errors in the U.S.

Medical malpractice is a legal cause of action when a health care provider, such as a doctor or a nurse, deviates from the accepted standard of care and causes harm to the patient. If you feel like you’re not getting the attention you need when you go to the doctor, or that the doctor was rushed and barely gave you the time of day, or you suspect that you may have been misdiagnosed – you’re not alone.

Understanding Common Types of Medical Malpractice

As experienced medical malpractice attorneys, we come across different types of medical malpractice claims often. Each one is unique and requires thorough investigation and preparation. The leading types of medical malpractice in the United States are:

#1. Failure to Diagnose

This is one of the most common types of medical malpractice. Accurate diagnosis is at the heart of treating patients quickly and effectively. Patients often accept the diagnosis without question because they trust their doctor. But if the doctor fails to diagnose a condition accurately, the consequences can be disastrous.

This may include various types of cancer, meningitis, and other conditions that can prove deadly if not diagnosed quickly or correctly. If this is the case, you may have a malpractice claim so consult with a malpractice attorney immediately.

#2. Surgical Errors

From incorrect surgical sites to leaving instruments in the body, surgical errors injure and kill thousands yearly. You may have a claim if the medical team fails to explain the risks of surgery properly, performs the wrong procedure, or performs on the wrong patient. Failure to remove all surgical equipment from inside the patient and performing an unnecessary surgery are both also common surgery errors.

#3. Failure to Treat

Whether from misdiagnosis, inattention, or any other factor, when a doctor fails to provide treatment, serious complications can follow. In other words, receiving the treatment on time is as critical as getting a correct diagnosis. The reasons behind these types of medical malpractice may vary. Some doctors are too busy and fail to treat their patients on time, ignoring their concerns. When that happens, you may have a malpractice claim.

#4. Birth Injuries

Birth injuries include injuries sustained during labor and delivery such as cerebral palsy or shoulder dystocia. Family members and parents expecting a baby want to have a healthy baby, but if the hospital and the medical team fail to provide proper medical care, it can lead to serious birth injuries.

#5. Medication Errors

Medication errors are also quite prevalent. As you may already know, prescription drugs are often very powerful. That’s why overmedication, under-medication, administering the wrong type or dosage, and similar prescription drug errors pose a serious threat to many patients.

This type of medical malpractice can result from failure to review all the paperwork, filling out wrong prescriptions, and insufficient staff, among other things. Whatever the reason may be, if you think you or your loved one suffered because of medication errors, contact our attorneys immediately.

#6. Hospital Errors

When you or your loved one gets admitted into a hospital, you expect it to meet a standard of care. Everyone working in the hospital that you come into contact with, from nurses to doctors, is responsible for your well-being. In most cases, you can hold the hospital administration responsible if one of their employees fails to perform their duties.

#7. Informed Consent Errors

Doctors and healthcare providers are required to obtain permission from the patient or an appropriate representative before starting a procedure or treatment. However, emergencies don’t require consent. Getting informed consent means healthcare professionals need to provide you with all the information they know about it. This includes why you need the procedure, potential side effects, benefits and risks, and available alternatives.

Talk to a Medical Malpractice Attorney Now

If you or your loved one has suffered injuries because of the negligence of a healthcare professional, you should speak with an attorney immediately. Scartelli Olszewski, P.C. has been handling complex medical malpractice cases for nearly two decades, and our success in winning these cases is well-known. If you or a loved one were the victim of any of these types of errors, you need an experienced medical malpractice attorney. For a free consultation with our team, contact us today.

Rachel Olszewski
Rachel Olszewski

Rachel D. Olszewski, an attorney at Scartelli Olszewski, P.C., is a dedicated advocate for clients who have suffered unjust harm. Following the legacy of her esteemed family members, Rachel specializes in personal injury, medical malpractice, and criminal defense. She is actively involved in professional associations and serves on the board of the Luzerne County Bar Association Charitable Foundation. Rachel is admitted to practice in Pennsylvania state courts and the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania.
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