6 Common Types of Medical Malpractice Claims

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By Marilyn Royce

Did you know that medical malpractice claims 225,000 lives annually? Also, every year, 20,000 malpractice lawsuits are filed in the US. These saddening statistics reveal medical malpractice’s prevalence and adverse effects in US society. In New Jersey, medical malpractice takes place when a medical provider or facility fails to provide the accepted standard of care, resulting in patient harm –injury or death. Learn six common types of medical malpractice claims.

Wrong Medication

Research shows that between 7,000 and 9,000 Americans die annually due to medication errors. Whether a medic issues a wrong dose, missing dose, or incorrect medication, a patient can get serious health complications like infection, organ damage, allergies, and heart failure.

Erroneous medication dosage is notorious for causing hallucinations, fatigue, and breathing difficulties. If you suspect you were given the wrong medication negligently, resulting in injury, a New Jersey Personal injury law firm can help.  

Surgical Errors

According to Medical News Today, more than 4,000 surgical errors occur annually. They result in injury, disability, unnecessary amputation, death, prolonged hospitalization, and life-changing complications.

Surgical errors take numerous forms, from wrong-site surgery to wrong procedures, damaging nerves and tissues, unnecessary surgery, and wrong patient. Also, it is common for patients to report inadequate follow-up care, unsterilized surgical instruments, and leaving objects in the patient.

Failure to Obtain Informed Consent

Physicians can be liable for medical malpractice if they fail to get informed consent from a patient before treatment and adverse outcomes arise. A patient has the right to agree or object to a procedure. As such, a doctor should inform the patient about any treatment’s benefits, risks, and alternatives so they decide whether to proceed with it. However, exceptions are applicable for incapacitated patients and those with life-threatening emergencies with inadequate time to inform and consult.


In 2014, misdiagnosis was the primary cause of medical malpractice claims. Common conditions prone to misdiagnosis are lung cancer, meningitis, heart attack, stroke, and pneumonia. Misdiagnosis emanates from a lack of competence, missed symptoms, incorrect testing, and multiple diagnoses.

When medical professionals misdiagnose a disease, the patient gets inaccurate treatment, and the condition worsens, resulting in poor patient outcomes. Patients who suspect they are being misdiagnosed should seek the opinion of another medic and consult a skilled lawyer to file a lawsuit.

Birth Injuries

The CDC contends that 7 out of 1,000 babies have birth injuries. Some birth injuries emanate from negligent labor and delivery staff, including inadequate prenatal care, unnecessary C-sections, improper use of delivery tools, anesthesia errors, and failure to monitor the baby and mother during labor.

A baby can sustain brain and nerve damage when medical professionals use excessive force during delivery. Birth injuries have life-long implications and may lead to numerous medical complications. For instance, a child may have a disability or need lifelong care.  

Failure to Treat

In healthcare, prompt treatment can be the difference between life and death. Suppose a doctor fails to diagnose and treat a condition promptly when a competent physician could identify and treat the problem. In that case, they can be held responsible for injuries occurring from the delay or denial. A doctor can also be accused of medical negligence if they discharge a patient prematurely, fail to refer to a specialist, or recommend essential follow-up care.  

While doctors and other healthcare professionals offer vital services, sometimes they make mistakes, resulting in severe injuries, disability, worsened conditions, and even death. If you have experienced the medical malpractice cases listed above, a personal injury lawyer can help. They assess your case to determine if malpractice occurred and advise accordingly. After a successful malpractice claim, you get compensated for medical bills, pain and suffering, emotional distress, and lost wages.