Common Types of Medical Malpractice Claims

Posted On October 21, 2022 Medical Malpractice
doctor taking male patient's health history

Medical malpractice claims involve multiple issues of negligence in the healthcare setting. Both individual providers (such as doctors and surgeons) and facilities (such as hospitals) may be subject to lawsuits when patients suffer harm as a result of malpractice.

It is important to understand that not all mistakes made by healthcare providers necessarily constitute medical malpractice. Similarly, an adverse outcome may not be the result of medical negligence.

Rather, medical malpractice is defined as a deviation from the accepted standard of care on the part of a medical professional that results in harm to the patient. This covers a number of different scenarios that may give rise to medical malpractice claims.

Please call The Flood Law Firm at (860) 346-2695 today if you or a member of your family suffered injury as a result of the following:

1. Diagnostic Errors

According to the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), diagnostic errors are at the center of more closed medical malpractice claims (i.e., cases that are settled or resolved in the courts) than any other cause related to negligent medical care. Furthermore, the AHRQ estimates that up to 17% of adverse events in hospitals occur due to diagnostic errors.

Medical negligence can lead to a variety of errors in diagnosis, including:

  • Misdiagnosis
  • Delayed diagnosis
  • Failure to diagnose

Any one of these errors can lead to the loss of precious time for patients with serious health complaints. Even if the correct diagnosis is ultimately made, it may be too late for treatment to make a difference.

2. Failure to Treat

Prompt and accurate diagnosis is just the first step in delivering the appropriate care. Once the patient’s complaint is diagnosed, doctors and other healthcare providers have a duty to provide treatment in accordance with the standards of the medical profession.

Negligent treatment of a patient can take several different forms:

  • Failure to inform the patient of a diagnosis
  • Recommending an incorrect or unproven treatment for the patient’s complaint
  • Delayed treatment
  • Failure to instruct the patient on the indicated course of treatment
  • Premature discharge of a patient
  • Failure to refer a patient to a specialist
  • Failure to provide follow-up care

Defining the standard of care and presenting evidence of how the defendant diverged from it is one of the most challenging aspects of a medical malpractice claim. Choosing an experienced lawyer is essential. Attorneys with knowledge of medical malpractice litigation will know what evidence needs to be gathered and which medical experts to consult to prove the client’s case.

3. Medication Errors

Medication errors are another leading cause of harm to patients. According to the journal StatPearls, hundreds of thousands of patients suffer adverse effects and up to 9,000 people in the United States die each year as a result of medication errors.

Fault for a medication error may lie with a doctor if:

  • The doctor prescribes the wrong medication for the patient’s complaint.
  • The wrong dosage of medication is prescribed.
  • The doctor fails to advise the patient of potential side effects and provide appropriate treatment when they occur.
  • The doctor ignores or overlooks contraindications (i.e., other medical issues, medications, etc. that may cause an adverse reaction).

Pharmaceutical errors can also cause harm to patients, with common examples of negligence including:

  • Dispensing the wrong medication
  • Errors in dosage
  • Failure to advise patients of potential drug interactions and side effects

Claims may also be brought against drug manufacturers if a medication is defective and the patient suffers harm as a result.

4. OB/GYN Errors

Obstetrics is the medical specialty focused on pregnancy and childbirth. Gynecology is the medical specialty focused on women’s health. Many physicians dual-specialize in these disciplines and provide care for women and their babies throughout pregnancy, labor, and after delivery.

Unfortunately, errors on the part of an OB/GYN and other medical professionals can cause serious harm to the mother, the baby, or both. These include:

  • Negligent prenatal care, such as failure to identify maternal risk factors for a difficult labor and delivery
  • Diagnostic and imaging errors
  • Inadequate monitoring of the mother’s vitals during labor
  • Failure to monitor for fetal distress
  • Errors in the use of forceps and vacuum extractors
  • Delayed cesarean sections

Multiple medical professionals may be involved in the delivery of your baby. In the event of a birth injury, you may have claims against the OB/GYN and other doctors, as well as the hospital itself.

5. Surgical Errors

Every surgery has risks. However, a surgical error does not fall within the “accepted risks” when patients consent to surgery.

Common examples of surgical errors include:

  • Operating on the wrong part of the body
  • Performing the wrong surgery for the patient’s complaint
  • Operating on the wrong patient
  • Inadvertently damaging blood vessels, tissue, and organs
  • Anesthesia errors
  • Leaving surgical sponges and other foreign objects inside the patient
  • Failure to monitor the patient for postoperative infection

Surgeons, anesthesiologists, and hospital staff may all be liable if you or a loved one suffered harm because of a surgical error. It is crucial to speak to a knowledgeable medical malpractice attorney as soon as possible to investigate the procedure and determine whether negligence or wrongdoing caused the injury.

Do You Have a Medical Malpractice Claim?

Medical malpractice claims are extremely complicated. A thorough investigation is required to identify what went wrong in your care and who is responsible.

The Flood Law Firm has the knowledge, experience, and resources necessary to handle the complexities of medical malpractice litigation. We collect all available evidence and partner with leading experts who can review your case and provide compelling testimony in your favor.

Although it may be possible to reach a settlement, our attorneys are prepared to take your case to trial as needed. Winning a medical malpractice case at trial is difficult, but our firm has a reputation for obtaining jury verdicts of which defendants and insurance companies alike take notice.

Contact The Flood Law Firm today for a FREE consultation. Our lawyers handle medical malpractice claims throughout Connecticut from offices in Middletown, Danbury, Waterbury, and Bridgeport.

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