What is Considered Medical Malpractice?

Nearly 100,000 people in the United States die every year due to medical malpractice. All of us get sick from time to time so it is very important that you know what medical malpractice looks like – you can sue the doctor, nurse or any other medical practitioner, including your pharmacist, who may be responsible for your medical malpractice case. Medical malpractice is when a medical practitioner causes you to suffer harm through his actions or failure to act accordingly. Here are some examples of common medical malpractice cases.


This is by far the commonest cause of medical malpractice. Many times doctors fail to diagnose illness properly which leads to missed opportunities for early treatment. In other cases they may make wrong diagnosis which means that patients are getting treatment for an illness that they don’t have while leaving the one that they have untreated. The trial strategy, if you should suffer misdiagnosis, is to compare what your doctor did or didn’t do with acceptable standard practice. In other words, your lawyer will be looking to establish that had the doctor acted more competently the course of treatment may have made a big difference.

Childbirth injuries

Even in this day and age when medicine as so advanced you would be surprised as to how common childbirth injuries are. They can result in brain injuries that affect development after birth, broken bones, damaged nerves and more. It is important to mention that these injuries don’t just occur at birth – what the doctor does or doesn’t do when they are delivering pre-natal care is also taken into account. If, for example, they fail to diagnose a condition in the fetus which can be treated you have the right to sue them. They should also be able to recognize infectious diseases that a mother can pass onto her fetus such as lupus.

Medication errors

These affect more than 1 million people in the US every year. They occur in various ways. A doctor may prescribe the wrong medication which means that the diagnosed condition is not being treated. In fact, a wrong prescription can and often does cause health problems and can even lead to death. A doctor may also give you the wrong dosage which means that you are taking too little of the drug to get cured, or you are taking too much that it is harmful to health. Medication errors are not limited to doctors. Pharmacists are often the source of the problem. This usually happens when the pharmacy is not well organized or when the pharmacist is too busy to pay proper attention. Sometimes it is a matter of plain sloppiness. If you take prescribed medication and experience any unexpected side effects you should see your doctor immediately – people have been known to die from medication errors. Once the doctor treats you with the right medication you can find a medical malpractice lawyer to help you file a suit again
st the responsible individual.

Anesthesia errors

These are some of the most dangerous errors – they lead to brain damage and often patients die. Anesthesiologists usually make these errors when they fail to use the right drugs – they should look into patient history to see whether they are allergic to any particular anesthesia or whether they are at higher risk. The other mistake that anesthesiologists make is using too much of the drug – even a milliliter more than recommended has the potential to do great harm. There are 2 additional errors that anesthesiologists have been known to make: they fail to intubate their patients properly which means they cannot breathe and they also sometimes use defective equipment which leads to further health problems.


Doctors have been known to be negligent. Imagine that you have to get stitches from a doctor who has just been told off by his boss or who is having money problems. Because they are distracted they may end up using unsterilized tools to unsterilized equipment. If that equipment had been used by a patient who has an infection the doctor has basically passed it on to you. You will be lucky if it is not a fatal one but if you get something like AIDS it will have a huge impact on your life. When it comes to negligence there are 4 obligations that a doctor must meet. The first one is duty. If they are appointed to treat you they owe you a certain level of care. The second is breach – the doctor must treat you using procedure that is accepted among his peers. In your case he should have made sure that the equipment was sterilized. The third obligation is injury – a doctor may do no harm (they gave you an infection) and the last standard is damages – the doctor shall pay if they are responsible for your infection.

Gross negligence

This is different from negligence because the damage tends to be more lasting. Have you ever heard of patients whose doctors severed the wrong appendages? Or the ones who receive surgery that they do not need and doctors end up removing perfectly healthy organs? This is what is called gross negligence and if it happens patients need to sue as soon as they are able to.

How do I file a medical malpractice claim?

These claims can be tough to prove so you need to find a lawyer who is experienced in medical malpractice cases. You and he will work together to build a case – you, as well as the medical facility will furnish him with all documentation that he needs. You will also explain to him the kind of treatment that you received and what the hospital did when they found out that malpractice had occurred. He will also look into whether the hospital has been sued by others in the past for similar problems – this helps him to make a better case because it shows a trend. It helps if a jury can see the seriousness of your mistreatment so you should take lots of photos whenever possible.

Although these cases are hard to try you will be happy to know that many hospitals are very keen to settle malpractice suits. They do not want them to go to court because of all the negative press that they will bring. In addition to that many hospitals rely on donor funding. If they are associated with a scandal donors may stop funding them or even withdraw existing funding.

It is very likely that the moment they sense that your lawyer has a strong case they will invite you to negotiate a settlement. This is an excellent way to go – you can never be guaranteed of a positive result when you are dealing with jurors. In addition to that the amount of money that you get is likely to be more than a jury could give you – even if they decide to rule in your favor you have no idea what they will deem as fair compensation. A settlement also takes care of another problem that you may experience should your matter go to court – trials are long and expensive so they should be avoided when there is another way out.

Contact the Law Office of Freeman & Chiartas today, for further questions and concerns on Medical Malpractice case.