Medical providers are expected to treat patients with a recognized “standard of care.” Medical malpractice occurs when a health care practitioner deviates from the accepted practice norms and causes harm to a patient. Up to 200,000 patients may die each year in the U.S. due to medical malpractice.
A doctor’s or nurse’s negligence can lead to serious and life-altering complications, such as disability, disfigurement or death. The deviation from the standard of care can take many forms, including a failure to diagnose a condition or not diagnosing the correct illness, or recognize symptoms, a disregard or failure to take a thorough patient history, misinterpreting or ignoring diagnostic results, not ordering the appropriate tests, conducting unnecessary surgery, making surgical mistakes, such as operating on the wrong body part, performing the wrong type of surgery, leaving a foreign object behind, or administering an improper medication or dosage.
There are many types of medical malpractice. Some of the more common ones are for: