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An Overview of the Most Common Types of Medical Lawsuits

August 30, 2021 Pegalis Law Group

You may have heard terms such as “medical negligence” or “medical malpractice” thrown around in the media but aren’t entirely sure of their meaning. Below, Pegalis Law Group, LLC provides an overview of the most common medical lawsuits we have witnessed over the past 50 years to educate our clients and the public as a whole. Some of these medical lawsuits may happen more frequently than others. If you or a loved one has sustained severe illness or injury related to any of the following, you should contact a skilled medical malpractice attorney to investigate your claim and help you recover damages.

Doctor Errors

When you visit a doctor, you expect an accurate diagnosis and treatment. However, sometimes doctors make mistakes when diagnosing medical conditions, performing operations, or prescribing medications. Doctor errors may be caused by carelessness, misinterpretation of lab results, illegible handwriting on prescriptions, or lack of medical skill. It’s estimated 1 in 20 patients is exposed to preventable harm due to a doctor error in judgment, with about 12% of these errors resulting in permanent injury or death.

Prescription Drug Errors

Prescription drug errors result in anything from mild allergic reactions to death. If a doctor prescribes the wrong type of medication or an incorrect dosage, this could be considered a prescription drug error. Physicians may also be held liable for failing to recognize potentially dangerous drug interactions or a patient’s signs of addiction or abuse that could harm their health or lead to an overdose.

Pharmaceutical Lawsuits

Consumers deserve access to safe, effective medications that have been clinically tested and approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Pharmaceutical class action lawsuits involve many patients who have been harmed by prescription or over-the-counter medications. A pharmaceutical company may be held liable if they failed to warn the public about potential side effects or health risks associated with their product or if the medication’s harm is far-reaching and has affected many lives.

Medical Negligence

If a physician’s treatment fails to meet the universally accepted standard of care, resulting in significant harm to a patient, it’s considered medical negligence. A doctor, nurse, surgeon, dentist, or other healthcare professional may be considered medically negligent if their level of care deviates from what is reasonably expected by the medical community. Medical negligence does not always involve a significant injury to the patient, but it’s considered grounds for medical malpractice when it does.

Medical Incompetence

Incompetence refers to a person’s inability to do something successfully. Medical incompetence occurs when a physician cannot perform their job functions according to the standard of care set by other healthcare professionals. If medical incompetence results in severe injury or illness to a patient, it could be considered the basis for a medical malpractice lawsuit.

Birth Errors

Catastrophic injuries occurring before, during, or after childbirth are considered birth errors. If an expectant mother receives substandard prenatal care or the attending physician fails to recognize signs of fetal distress during the birth, this could be considered poor practice and grounds for a case. Other common causes of birth injuries include the failure to perform necessary C-sections, the improper usage of forceps or excessive force when removing the baby from the birth canal, or failing to diagnose and treat abnormalities in the nursery.

Substandard Healthcare

Substandard healthcare does not meet the universally accepted standard of care among healthcare professionals. If a doctor or nurse fails to provide the appropriate level of care expected when treating a patient and it results in severe injury or illness, this could be considered substandard healthcare.

Medical Malpractice Lawsuits

Medical negligence becomes a medical malpractice lawsuit when a patient is severely injured or sustains unexpected medical complications due to a physician’s negligent treatment, diagnosis, aftercare, or health management. Common examples of medical malpractice include surgical errors, failure to recognize symptoms or order proper testing, unnecessary surgery, premature patient discharges, and disregarding the patient’s medical history when diagnosing or recommending treatment or medication.

Injured? Pegalis Law Group, LLC May Be Able to Help!

Achieving some of New York’s largest verdicts and settlements throughout the past 50 years, Pegalis Law Group, LLC represents personal injury and medical malpractice clients. Our staff is also committed to creating public awareness about being proactive patients to improve universal healthcare measures. Please visit our website and follow us on YouTube, Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn to receive additional insights about being proactive about your family’s healthcare.