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3 Common Types of Malpractice

Medical malpractice occurs when a doctor or other health care professional deviates from standards in their practice, either by negligence or omission, causing injury to a patient. It’s a tragedy, because medical errors are one of the top three leading causes of death in the U.S., following cancer and heart disease. Not every medical error is malpractice, but here are three common types of malpractice.

Failure to Diagnose

Misdiagnosis can happen when a doctor doesn’t notice symptoms. Sometimes, a diagnosis can be delayed. If the misdiagnosis or delayed diagnosis causes harm to a patient, you might have a case for malpractice. However, there are many factors that come into play before filing a lawsuit. The standard is how another doctor might have diagnosed your symptoms under the same circumstances.

Birth Injuries

Obviously, birth injuries occur to moms and babies, usually during labor and delivery. Medical malpractice occurs when the medical team fails to use reasonable care and harms the mother or the child. It can also occur when the parents might have known about birth defects before the baby was born. The mother can bring a claim against the doctor for her own injuries, or the parents can bring a claim for the baby’s injuries.

Pharmacy Errors

Medication errors are a common type of malpractice because there are so many ways an error can happen. The doctor can write the prescription incorrectly. The patient can be given the wrong medication by the pharmacist or nurse. The nurse can give the wrong amount of the medication. Sometimes, hospital equipment fails, making the manufacturer liable for the error.

Medical Malpractice Can Be Difficult to Prove

It isn’t enough to show that there was a medical error to prove medical malpractice. The patient must show that the healthcare professional owed a duty to the patient, or that there was a relationship in which the doctor should have provided adequate care. Then, the patient must show that there was a breach of that duty. Third, the patient must have had an injury caused by the breach. Finally, the patient must have resulting damages. Because there are so many elements that can come into play when it comes to health and medical treatment, it can be difficult to directly show each of these elements.


Make an appointment with a medical malpractice lawyer like one from Ward & Ward Law Firm who has experience in these types of cases to take the next steps in your claim.

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