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Types of Medical Malpractice Lawsuits

By George Khoury, Esq. | Last updated on

Medical malpractice claims tend to be complex legal claims that not only require an attorney have specialized legal knowledge, but which will also likely require the assistance of qualified medical experts. Generally, medical malpractice claim is a type of negligence claim where a plaintiff claims that they suffered an injury as a result of a doctor, hospital, or other medical professional or facility, falling below the usual standard of care for medical treatment.

However, since the medical industry covers a wide range of treatments, facilities, doctors, and patients, there are several types of medical malpractice claims and lawsuits. Additionally, because medical malpractice is governed by state law, laws regarding suing doctors and hospitals will vary from state to state. Below are four of the most frequently brought type of medical malpractice lawsuits and claims against hospitals and doctors.

1. Patient Confidentiality

Most people have heard of HIPAA and are aware of the fact that their medical records are supposed to be kept confidential. If a hospital or doctor fails to keep your information confidential, you may have a legal claim for invasion of privacy or even medical malpractice, depending on your state's law.

2. Misdiagnoses, Failed Procedures, and Surgical Malpractice

The most common type of medical malpractice lawsuits occur when a doctor fails to properly diagnosis a patient, or makes an error during a procedure or surgery. While misdiagnosing, or making a mistake during a procedure or surgery do not automatically equate to malpractice, they are the most visible mistakes, and are frequently challenged as malpractice. While not all mistakes will be considered malpractice, sometimes, the mistake will be so obvious, such as leaving a tool inside a surgery patient, that a doctor or hospital can be found to be grossly negligent.

3. Birth Injuries

Despite the advances in medical technology related to the birthing process, injuries still occur during child labor at an alarming rate. When the injuries are the result of medical negligence, or a doctor, nurse, or other hospital employee's mistake, a medical malpractice claim can result on behalf of the injured child. If the infant dies, a wrongful death claim could potentially exist if malpractice or negligence occurred.

4. Hospital Negligence

Although doctors are ultimately responsible for the care of their patients, sometimes medical lawsuits get filed because hospital staff members make a mistake, or a hospital policy leads to medical negligence. For instance, if a person is injured because their chart was confused with another patient's, the hospital itself, rather than the individual doctor, can potentially be held liable.

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