Are There Different Types of Medical Malpractice?
Much as medicine categorizes the human body, dividing it amongst specialties that require you to consult specialists for each problem or check-up you need to take care of, the law divides and categorizes different types of malpractice. Indeed, “medical malpractice” is an umbrella term for numerous fields of malpractice just like “medicine” covers a wide-range of fields.
In fact, malpractice can range from cases of misdiagnoses/delayed diagnoses, surgical errors, cases that occurred in the hospital, and drug/medication malpractice.
- The first type of malpractice, and the most commonly sued for in court, are misdiagnosis and delayed diagnosis suits. Every state in the United States has laws that allow for the filing of claims resulting from misdiagnosis cases. Most of these cases, in turn, are the result of situations where the misdiagnosis or delayed diagnosis caused further injury to the patient.
- The second type of malpractice occurs from surgical errors. These cases need to prove that the surgeon provided a substandard quality of care, the quality determined both in-court and out (through settlements). An item you need to look out for when considering whether to file a surgical malpractice law suit is the “informed consent” that most hospitals require you sign prior to surgery. If the mistake was due to negligence, rather than common errors that can occur in surgery—these common errors tend to be covered in the “informed consent” form.
- The third type are those malpractice cases that occur in the hospital. While this does cover surgical and sub-par care while in a hospital—whose responsibility lays with the hospital—most of these cases occur with low quality of care in emergency rooms. Each state has specific standards that hospitals must meet in providing care, and while a patient may not receive absolutely perfect care, the hospital has to meet that standard.
- Finally, the fourth type of malpractice results from prescription and drug errors. Obviously, ingesting chemicals meant to treat certain illness, diseases, and symptoms carry risks that can seriously harm a patient. While ingesting prescriptions that are prescribed to you carry with it a legal contract—which you generally have to sign when picking the drugs up at a pharmacy—malpractice suits can be pressed when you receive the wrong prescription or the wrong dosage that seriously injure your health.
Each of these types of malpractice claims of course carry with it the burden of proof that needs to be undertaken in a court of law.
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