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Four Most Common Types of Medical Malpractice

Posted in blog,Medical Malpractice on February 1, 2022

Medical malpractice occurs when a doctor harms a patient by failing to perform their medical duties properly. Claims for medical malpractice must be proven and have a few basic requirements. A patient-doctor relationship must have existed, and the doctor had to be negligent in the diagnosis or treatment of the patient.  You must also be able to prove that the negligence caused the injury.

Although most people receive the appropriate treatment, medical malpractice continues to be a significant public health issue. Long hours, overworked staff, lack of attention to detail, and other circumstances may be the cause for such errors. The consequences for these errors can be devastating, or even deadly.

The most common types of medical malpractice claims involve errors in diagnosing a condition, prescribing medication, performing surgery, and  treating pregnancy/childbirth.


Obtaining an accurate diagnosis is not always an easy task. Many medical conditions can have overlapping symptoms, and each patient may express those symptoms differently. Poorly trained medical staff may not order the appropriate tests leading to misdiagnosis. Diagnosis errors are usually caught later, often when the patient doesn’t respond to the prescribed treatment or seeks a second opinion. The length of delay in obtaining a correct diagnosis plays a crucial role in determining the patient’s eligibility for compensation. Some of the most misdiagnosed conditions include:

  • Infection
  • Heart attack
  • Heart disease
  • Blood clot
  • Tumors or Masses


Americans are taking more prescription drugs than ever before, so it is not surprising that errors in medication are a common form of medical malpractice. Examples of this type of oversight include:

  • Giving out the wrong medication
  • Failing to dispense the appropriate medication at the correct time
  • Giving the incorrect dosage
  • Failing to notice a harmful drug interaction


Surgical errors can occur even during routine procedures; however, spinal and gastrointestinal surgeries are associated with the highest numbers of mistakes. Surgical errors that may constitute the basis of a malpractice claim include:

  • Performing the wrong surgery
  • Performing an unneeded operation
  • Failing to obtain consent prior to operation
  • Damaging a nerve during surgery
  • Failure to control bleeding
  • Leaving surgical instruments inside the patient
  • Giving the wrong dose of anesthesia
  • Causing infection due to improper sanitation procedures
  • Knowingly using defective equipment

Pregnancy and Childbirth

Although modern medicine has made pregnancy and childbirth reasonable safe, there are still many complications that can occur. When a doctor isn’t mindful of potential complications, both the mother and child can suffer. Next to general surgeons, OB/GYN have the highest number of malpractice claims annually. Examples of pregnancy and childbirth-related malpractice include:

  • Misdiagnosis of placental abnormalities
  • Failure to monitor or recognize the signs of gestational diabetes
  • Failure to stop an excessively long labor
  • Surgical errors during a cesarean surgery
  • Nerve damage to the baby during delivery

Medical malpractice law is very complex; therefore, retaining legal representation is the best way to ensure that your rights are protected.  A good attorney will obtain the necessary documentation pertaining to your injury, locate relevant expert testimonies, and negotiate with the insurer on your behalf. In many instances, the attorney will be able to settle the case without the time and expense of a court trial.  

The experienced attorneys at Manchin Injury Law Firm are committed to helping the residents of north central West Virginia who have been victims of medical malpractice and negligence.  Let us help you receive the compensation you deserve. Contact us today to schedule a free, no-obligation case review.