The Main Types of Medical Malpractice: A Basic Guide


Medical errors are now the third leading cause of death in the United States. Doctors are some of the most highly respected and beneficial people on the planet.

However, they do make mistakes and sometimes these mistakes can be deadly. Whenever a doctor has done something that harms a patient, it is called medical malpractice.

Since doctors perform so many different types of medical procedures there are many different types of medical malpractice. Here is a look at the six major types of medical malpractice.


One of the most common types of medical malpractice is misdiagnosis. A doctor may examine a patient and come up with an incorrect diagnosis.

Misdiagnosis can go in two directions, either the doctor does not diagnose the patient’s condition or they diagnose a condition that the patient doesn’t really have.

Either way, the patient does not receive proper treatment and this is considered medical malpractice

2Delayed Diagnosis

A delayed diagnosis can lead to severe consequences. Many illnesses are best dealt with in their early stages.

If a patient visits a doctor for a significant amount of time and receives a particular diagnosis but later gets a second more accurate diagnosis, this is referred to as late diagnosis and it is grounds for a malpractice lawsuit.

3Failure to Treat

There are times when a doctor arrives at the correct diagnosis promptly. However, the doctor fails to give adequate treatment quickly enough.

Often when a doctor is treating many patients this can happen. They may discharge a patient too soon, or fail to give them follow-up care such as referring them to a specialist.

4Surgical Error

Surgical error is another area in which doctors may be sued for malpractice. There are many different forms of surgical error, if a doctor damages organs when doing surgery or if they do an incorrect surgery this is also grounds for malpractice.

There have been medical malpractice cases where doctors have used instruments that are not sterile enough or they have left medical equipment inside the patient after surgery.

All of these constitute malpractice and a good hospital negligence lawyer can get compensation for the patient.

5Injury at Birth

Birth injury malpractice lawsuits are among the most devastating. Parents will usually sue because the doctor did not give proper prenatal care or the doctor did something in childbirth that was negligent.

6Medical Product Liability

While doctors are often the focus of medical malpractice cases there are instances where medical malpractice is brought against manufacturers of medical devices. Poor-quality medical equipment can injure patients, and this is grounds for a lawsuit.

Types of Medical Malpractice

You now have a better understanding of the different types of medical malpractice. In medical malpractice cases, it is always best to hire a medical malpractice lawyer that can deal with the nuances of the case.

Medical malpractice cases can get complicated fast and if you do not have the prerequisite knowledge on how to deal with them you can end up losing a good case.

If you would like more legal information, please see the finance and law section of the website.


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