4 Common Types of Medical Malpractice Explained

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doctors and nurses in a hospital on Long Island, NY

If you have suffered injury or harm while under the care of a doctor, physician assistant, nurse, or another healthcare professional, you might be entitled to seek financial compensation through a medical malpractice claim. Medical malpractice involves a situation in which a patient has suffered injury or illness as a result of a health care professional’s negligent behavior.

Unfortunately, medical malpractice is quite common in New York and throughout the United States. To better understand medical malpractice, it’s important to know some of the most common types.

This blog will explain four of the most common types of medical malpractice:

At Finz & Finz, P.C., our highly skilled and compassionate New York medical malpractice lawyers have extensive experience handling all types of medical malpractice. No matter the type you are dealing with, we have likely successfully helped many others with a similar claim recover compensation. Let us fight for the full and fair compensation you deserve as we hold the negligent medical practitioners accountable. Call the experienced New York medical malpractice attorneys at Finz & Finz, P.C. on Long Island today at 855-TOP-FIRM for a free initial consultation.

1) Misdiagnosis

Medical misdiagnosis involves a healthcare practitioner examining a patient but arriving at the wrong conclusion about their condition. Misdiagnosis can lead to a patient’s condition getting worse and stress and anxiety for the patient. In the most tragic cases, a misdiagnosis can cause death.

Common types of misdiagnosis include:

  • Wrong disease or condition diagnosed.
  • Diagnosis is correct, but the underlying cause is not identified.
  • Side effects of medications are mistaken for illness.
  • Not recognizing a related (or an unrelated) illness.

Commonly misdiagnosed illnesses include asthma being misdiagnosed as recurring bronchitis, a heart attack being misdiagnosed as indigestion, Lyme disease being misdiagnosed as the flu, and lupus being misdiagnosed as chronic fatigue syndrome.

2) Delayed Diagnosis

Delayed diagnosis happens when a physician fails to determine the cause for an illness or discover a condition before it is too late.

Missed diagnosis and delayed diagnosis often go hand in hand. A missed diagnosis occurs when a doctor diagnoses and or treats a patient for the wrong illness. The initial failure to get the right diagnosis may add to the seriousness of the medical issue over time.

It is critical to note that just because a physician did not diagnose your condition immediately, that does not necessarily mean it was medical malpractice. If the physician has done everything they can to promptly and accurately diagnose the condition or illness, they have upheld the standard duty of care.

Some examples of delayed diagnosis include:

  • Failing to monitor vital changes
  • Missing the significance of the symptoms being presented
  • Failing to refer for tests or misinterpreting tests
  • Failing to consider another diagnosis
  • Failing to listen to a patient’s concerns and complaints
  • Performing a procedure before considering possible complications
  • Failing to send out letters or reminders to patients to return for more testing

3) Failure To Treat

This type of malpractice occurs when the doctor correctly diagnoses a condition but fails to treat it in a way that is congruent with the acceptable standard of care. Discharging a patient too soon can make certain conditions worse and lead to harm.

Failure to treat situations may happen in a situation when a doctor’s office is treating too many people. When a medical practice puts profits over safety, they are not treating patients with the basic standard of care.

Some examples of failure to treat include:

  • Failure to assess and monitor a patient’s condition
  • Failure to adhere to accepted standards of care
  • Failure to treat in a timely manner
  • Failure to treat a patient at all
  • Failure to perform the required tests
  • Failure to refer a patient to a specialist
  • Failure to offer follow-up care
  • Not informing a patient of all the available treatment options
  • Failure to treat heart attack symptoms in the emergency room

It can be difficult to prove that a failure to treat was the result of medical malpractice. It must be proven that the doctor failed to adhere to the proper standard of care in their evaluation of the patient. This requires much experience and a great understanding of the law and the medical issues involved in these types of cases.

4) Surgical Errors

All surgeries have a degree of risk. This is why it is common to have to sign an “informed consent” form before surgery that says you understand surgery involves certain known risks. Surgical errors exceed the known risks. These errors are preventable mistakes.

Common types of surgical errors include:

  • Anesthesia mistakes
  • Surgical tools or instruments left inside patients
  • Mistakes that cause the surgeon to cut a nearby body part such as an organ, artery, nerve, tissue, or ligament
  • Improper sterilization of equipment
  • Infections
  • Operating on the wrong patient
  • Operating on the wrong part of the body

Some surgical mistakes can be so serious that they lead to wrongful death. Some cause permanent issues like paralysis, traumatic brain injury (TBI), and other life-changing complications.

Contact a New York Medical Malpractice Attorney

Many people who have reason to believe they have been harmed because of medical malpractice don’t know where to turn. The first step to take is to consult with an experienced New York medical malpractice attorney.

Were you injured due to medical malpractice in New York? You may be entitled to financial compensation for your medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, mental anguish, and other losses. The highly skilled and knowledgeable medical malpractice lawyers at Finz & Finz, P.C.  will be able to determine if you have a viable medical malpractice claim. Call us now at 855-TOP-FIRM to schedule a free and confidential consultation.