Common Types of Medical Malpractice

Category: Personal Injury

Article by Aaron F. Tuley

Common Types of Medical Malpractice

When you go into a doctor’s office, hospital, or nursing home for treatment, you expect to be helped. Many of these places have a responsibility to provide you with sufficient care. So if that duty is breached in any way, you may be eligible to file a medical malpractice claim. 

Types of Medical Malpractice

Perhaps the most important factor in medical malpractice cases is the ability to prove negligence. Understanding Indiana negligence laws can help you determine whether or not you may be entitled to benefits in a malpractice case. 

Medical malpractice is more common than people think because there are so many different forms of it. Some of the issues related to malpractice don’t even require harm to be done if the provider puts you in significant danger. 

Below are some of the common examples of medical malpractice we see in Evansville, Indiana. 

Diagnosis Errors

There are three common forms of diagnostic errors that you can file a medical malpractice claim for in Indiana:

  1. Misdiagnosis 
  2. Delayed diagnosis 
  3. Failure to diagnose

Misdiagnosis is not as simple as the doctor saying you just have a head cold when it’s actually the flu. To be eligible for compensation, your medical misdiagnosis must run the risk of preventing you from lifesaving treatment or cause you to seek unnecessary treatments. 

For example, if the doctor believes you had a one time seizure when it’s actually epilepsy, that may cause future risks which could have been avoided if the doctor was more thorough. A misdiagnosis is only considered medical malpractice if the doctor didn’t take the same actions that other doctors would have in the same situation, and you are injured as a result. 

Delayed diagnosis is virtually the same as misdiagnosis, but it introduces time as a factor. In this form of diagnostic error, the doctor eventually corrects their mistake, but the delay has already caused the condition to worsen or become fatal. Similar to misdiagnosis cases, the doctor in a delayed diagnosis case must have made a less competent assessment than other doctors would for this to count as medical malpractice. 

For example, if fluid collects in your lungs because you have lung cancer, and your doctor sends you away with pneumonia, you may be in serious jeopardy by the time you return for the second opinion that leads to a lung cancer diagnosis. 

The final diagnostic error occurs when the doctor completely misses a diagnosis. While this seems like something that wouldn’t happen, it’s not all that strange in situations where an individual has multiple injuries. 

For example, if somebody was shot in the chest but also has a broken ankle, the doctor’s attention will likely not go straight to the foot. If this serious injury goes completely undiagnosed and leads to extensive pain or a loss of mobility, you may have a case for medical malpractice. 

Failure to Treat

Closely linked with diagnosis errors is the failure to administer adequate treatment. This can occur even if a doctor provides the correct diagnosis. Failure to order the proper tests, referrals, or prescriptions can result in you not getting the necessary care. 

To be liable for a medical malpractice lawsuit, the doctor must have neglected to take steps that other doctors would have in a similar situation. 

Birth Injuries

Being a parent is difficult—experiencing a birth injury is unbearable. As parents, your newborn child is often the most important thing to you. Any negligence that causes harm to you or your child is considered medical malpractice. 

Birth injury malpractice examples include the following situations:

  • Doctor provides improper prenatal care.
  • Despite your best efforts, you are not given adequate information about prenatal practices.
  • The doctor commits a different form of medical negligence during childbirth.

If you, your loved one, or your newborn suffers any sort of harm during the childbirth process, contact one of our lawyers as soon as possible to begin your claim.

Surgical Errors 

There is a misconception about surgical errors that if you sign a contract you will not be able to sue in the event of a mistake. Just because you acknowledge the risks of a medical procedure, does not mean you have no right to pursue compensation in the face of negligence. You are signing to show that you accept reasonable risks, not unforeseen consequences caused by your doctor’s carelessness. 

An experienced Evansville medical malpractice lawyer should be able to help you determine whether or not you have a case after a surgical error.

Medication Errors 

Prescribing medicine is a science in itself. There are many factors to consider when assigning drugs and dosages for treatment. If a doctor, nurse, or pharmacist makes a mistake that leads to you taking a dangerous medication, you may be able to file a medical negligence claim on the grounds of a medication error. 

Always check your label before you take your medication to ensure that you have the correct drug and dosage. Even though you may be able to recover damages after an accident, it is much safer to prevent the accident altogether. Even if you do not take the dangerous medicine, you may still be able to pursue damages for improper distribution. 

Anesthesia Errors 

Anesthesia is a powerful treatment and is necessary during certain medical procedures. If misused, however, the error can permanently damage the patient’s brain. In extreme cases, anesthesia errors can kill the patient. 

If a negligent anesthesiologist administers a certain drug without reviewing the patient’s file and it results in injury or death, you could be eligible for significant compensation. 

Medical Device Failure

If you are given a defective device, you may be able to hold more than your medical provider responsible. The device manufacturer may be liable for an injury if it was caused by the malfunction of their device. 

One of the most severe forms of medical malpractice occurs when a doctor knows that a medical device or implant is defective, and decides to proceed with the procedure anyway. 

Failure to Handle Infections 

Proper sanitation practices are in place to prevent infections during medical procedures. If the negligence of your care provider leads to an infection, or if you have an infection and it is not addressed and treated in the proper way, you may be eligible for compensation.


Bedsores can be a common sign of neglect or insufficient attention. They develop if a patient is left in the same position for too long.  Also known as pressure ulcers, these sores can become infected and lead to more severe issues if left untreated. 

Recovering Benefits for Different Types of Medical Malpractice

Some types of malpractice offer more benefits than others. The more serious the harm done, the more negligent the provider. And the larger the defendant, the more money you are likely to receive. Tuley Law Office in Evansville is dedicated to getting you the maximum compensation that you deserve. 

There is a cap to the reward you can receive from a medical malpractice case. The doctor—or healthcare provider—will only be responsible for a specific amounmt and the rest will be on the insurance company.

If your loved one dies as a result of medical malpractice, you may also be eligible for wrongful death compensation. Contact one of our Evansville wrongful death attorneys to begin building a case. 

Have questions about your case?

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