- Advertisement -spot_img
HomeHealthWhat Qualifies As Medical Malpractice?

What Qualifies As Medical Malpractice?

Medical malpractice is a serious issue that can have life-altering consequences for patients and their families. In its simplest form, medical malpractice occurs when a healthcare provider fails to meet the accepted standard of care, resulting in harm to the patient. If you or a loved one has been the victim of medical malpractice, it’s important to understand your legal rights and the steps you can take to seek justice.

In this article, we’ll take a closer look at what qualifies as medical malpractice, including the examples and elements of medical malpractice, factors that affect medical malpractice cases, how to prove medical malpractice, and what to do if you suspect medical malpractice.

What Qualifies as Medical Malpractice?

Medical malpractice can take many forms, and some common examples include:

1. Misdiagnosis or delayed diagnosis

This can be particularly dangerous, as it can delay necessary treatment and lead to a worsened condition. In some cases, it can even be fatal. For example, a delayed diagnosis of cancer, like mesothelioma, can allow the condition to progress to a point where it becomes untreatable.

If you suspect medical malpractice, including cases related to asbestos exposure and the development of mesothelioma, there are several steps you can take to protect your legal rights and seek justice, including reporting the incident to the appropriate authorities, seeking medical treatment, contacting a medical malpractice lawyer, and documenting all evidence and information related to the incident to build a strong mesothelioma lawsuit.

2. Surgical errors

Surgical errors can take many forms, including a wrong-site surgery, where the surgeon operates on the wrong part of the body, or surgical complications resulting from the surgeon’s failure to follow proper sterilization protocols, leading to an infection. Moreover, errors such as performing the wrong procedure or leaving instruments inside the patient can also have serious consequences.

These errors can lead to infection, internal bleeding, or other complications requiring additional surgery or even death.

3. Medication errors

Prescribing the wrong medication or dosage is a medication error, all of which can lead to harmful side effects or even death. These errors can occur due to various factors, such as miscommunication, faulty record-keeping, or lack of knowledge about the patient’s medical history.

4. Birth injuries

Injuries at birth occur due to negligence during delivery, such as failure to recognize fetal distress or improper use of delivery instruments. These injuries can have lifelong consequences for both the mother and the child.

One condition that can result from a birth injury is cerebral palsy, which can be caused by a lack of oxygen to the brain during delivery. Another example is brachial plexus injuries, which can occur when the baby’s shoulder becomes stuck during delivery.

5. Anesthesia errors

Serious complications during surgery can occur if the anesthesiologist administers too much or too little anesthesia, fails to monitor the patient properly, or uses defective equipment.

For instance, failing to properly monitor the patient’s vital signs during surgery can lead to complications such as cardiac arrest. Alternatively, administering too much anesthesia, which can lead to respiratory failure.

6. Failure to obtain informed consent

It means when a patient is not adequately informed of the risks associated with a medical procedure or treatment. This can include failing to explain a procedure’s risks and benefits or informing the patient of alternative treatments, which can lead to unforeseen complications.

Elements of Medical Malpractice

To prove medical malpractice, four key elements must be present: duty of care, breach of duty, causation, and damages. Let’s examine them in detail.

  1. Duty of care refers to the legal obligation of a healthcare provider to provide care that meets the accepted standard of care for their profession. This means that healthcare providers must provide reasonable, prudent, and appropriate care for the patient’s condition.
  2. Breach of duty is when the provider fails to meet that standard of care, either through negligence or omission. Negligence refers to a provider’s failure to take reasonable care, while omission refers to their failure to act when they should have. Breach of duty can occur in various ways, such as misdiagnosis, delayed diagnosis, medication errors, surgical errors, and more.
  3. Causation refers to the link between the provider’s breach of duty and the harm suffered by the patient. In other words, the patient must be able to show that the provider’s breach of duty was the cause of their harm.
  4. Damages are harm suffered by the patient, which may include physical, emotional, and financial damages. The patient must be able to show that they suffered harm due to the provider’s breach of duty.

Factors that Affect Medical Malpractice Cases

Several factors can affect medical malpractice cases, including:

  • Statutes of limitations set a time limit for filing a medical malpractice lawsuit, which can vary depending on the state and the nature of the case.
  • Standard of care refers to the level of care a healthcare provider is expected to provide based on their training and experience.
  • Expert testimony is often required in medical malpractice cases to establish the standard of care and whether it was breached.
  • Contributory negligence occurs when the patient’s own actions or choices contribute to the harm suffered.
  • Damage caps are imposed by some states on medical malpractice awards, limiting the amount of compensation that can be recovered.

What to Do if You Suspect Medical Malpractice?

If you suspect medical malpractice, there are several steps you can take to protect your legal rights and seek justice, including:

  • Reporting the incident to the appropriate authorities: state medical board or licensing agency.
  • Seeking medical treatment: addressing any harm that has been suffered and documenting the extent of the harm.
  • Contacting a medical malpractice lawyer: protecting your legal rights and ensuring you receive the compensation you deserve.
  • Document all evidence and information related to the incident: medical records, witness statements, and other relevant information.

How to Prove Medical Malpractice

Proving medical malpractice can be a complex and challenging process, but there are several steps you can take to strengthen your case, including:

  1. Gathering evidence: medical records, witness statements, and expert testimony.
  2. Building a strong case: a deep understanding of the law and the case’s specific circumstances.
  3. Working with an experienced medical malpractice lawyer: navigating the complex legal process and advocating for your rights.
  4. Filing a lawsuit: filing a complaint with the court, serving the complaint on the defendant, and going through the discovery process to gather evidence and prepare for trial.


Medical malpractice is a serious issue that can have devastating consequences for patients and their families. Understanding what qualifies as medical malpractice and how to protect your legal rights will hold authorities accountable for their actions. Seeking legal advice is critical in cases of medical malpractice, and working with an experienced medical malpractice lawyer can help you navigate the complex legal process and obtain the compensation you deserve.

- Advertisement -spot_img
Recent Post

All Categories

Related News
- Advertisement -spot_img