Numerous medical malpractice lawsuits are filed yearly in Canada and the United States. Filed as either civil court lawsuits or as insurance claims, medical malpractice claims have risen to almost record heights in recent years. While many areas of medicine lend themselves to the potential for a medical malpractice offence, the four most common types are presented below.
Common types of Medical Malpractice Claims
1. Cosmetic Surgery and Plastic Surgery Malpractice. Throughout the world, millions are choosing to undergo elective cosmetic surgery. In a lot of cases, cosmetic surgery is not covered by insurances. Consequently, when cosmetic surgery medical malpractice cases make it before a jury, the jury tends to be unsympathetic to plaintiffs. However, some instances of cosmetic surgery are deserving of compensation, but are often hard to win due to the negative view of the elective nature of plastic and cosmetic surgery.
2. Prescription Drug Errors. Prescription drug errors are one of the most common types of medical malpractice lawsuit filed as these types of errors can prove fatal. Many prescription drug errors, however, go unreported because patients don’t notice or the error is not discovered in time, which means you should remain vigilant about knowing what medications you are taking and what to look for in the way of side effects or adverse effects. In the case of prescription drug errors, there are a number of individuals and entities who may be liable for a prescription drug medical malpractice claim, including:
- The physician who prescribes the medication;
- The nursing staff or healthcare staff who administers either non-prescription or prescription medications;
- The pharmacist who fill the prescription; and
- The prescription drug company, manufacturer, or marketer of the prescription.
Mistakes for which the above-listed can be held liable for include:
- The administering or prescribing of the wrong medication;
- The administering or prescribing of the wrong dosage of a medication;
- The failure to reasonably foresee any negative complications from the taking of a medication;
- The manufacturing and/or marketing of defective or unsafe medications; and
- The writing of illegible prescriptions that leads to incorrect medication or instructions for taking a medication.
3. Birth Injury and Obstetric Medical Malpractice. Any time a birth injury occurs during medical treatment or birth and delivery, the potential for a medical malpractice case increases. If obstetric care falls below the accepted medical standards and the infant or mother are harmed, the potential for a medical malpractice exists. (However, not every birth injury is a medical malpractice consideration.) Just the occurrence of an injury doesn’t necessarily qualify as a mistake on the doctor’s part. What counts is if the healthcare provider acted and responded consistent with the standard and reasonable level of care as other doctor’s under similar circumstances would have acted.
4. Diagnosis and Surgical Medical Malpractice. Diagnosis and surgical errors are among some of the most common medical malpractice claims. They include such issues as misdiagnosis. Late diagnosis, failure to diagnose, nerve damage during surgery, internal organ damage during surgery, blood vessel damage during surgery, and other body part injuries that result in sever medical problems.
Any failure to follow a standard level of care by a physician that causes a patient harm may be a viable medical malpractice case. If you or a loved one has been injured due to the negligence or mistake of a medical professional, contact an experienced medical malpractice lawyer to help you determine what your next step should be in the filing of a medical malpractice claim or lawsuit.