Medical errors and medical negligence result in traumatic injuries and life-threatening conditions. Any medical provider or facility could make an error in treating a patient. Sadly, medical errors are more common than many people realize. 

What is a Medical Error?

A medical error is a preventable event that adversely affects the patient. Medical errors can occur in the best hospitals and medical facilities. 

Medical mistakes happen. That does not mean that you should avoid seeking medical treatment for emergencies and health concerns.

Knowing the most common types of medical errors can help you safeguard against these errors. Ask questions during each phase of your medical treatment. Question a medical provider who does not appear to be paying attention. 

You have the right to ask questions and receive all information necessary to make informed decisions about your medical care.

What are the Most Common Medical Errors?

There are many different types of medical errors that can cause catastrophic injuries and wrongful deaths. Some of the most common types of medical errors include: 

Misdiagnosis or Delayed Diagnosis

A prompt, correct diagnosis is crucial to your treatment plan. Failing to diagnose a condition could delay medical treatment, resulting in a patient’s condition worsening. 

Misdiagnosis could result in incorrect treatment. A patient might receive painful and invasive treatment that was not necessary. It also prevents the patient from receiving the correct treatment they need to recover.

Surgical Mistakes

Surgical mistakes are some of the most common types of medical errors. A doctor might perform surgery on the wrong site, such as operating on the left leg when the broken bone is on the right leg. 

Medication Errors

Medication errors are another common type of medical error. Medication errors include:

  • Prescribing the wrong medication
  • Failing to review all medications a patient takes for adverse interactions
  • Prescribing the incorrect dose

Medication errors can also occur in the hospital if a staff member gives a patient the incorrect medicine or does. Pharmacies can also make medication errors when filling prescriptions. 

Birth Injuries

Birth injuries are devastating for parents. Medical errors can occur during pregnancy, labor, and delivery when physicians do not adequately monitor the mother and child. Failing to perform required screenings, administering the wrong medication, and failing to diagnose problems or conditions are a few examples of causes of birth injuries.

Birth injuries can result in brain damage, hypoxia, broken bones, seizures, and numerous conditions that cause permanent disabilities. Parents who suspect medical errors caused their child’s death or injury should talk with a personal injury lawyer immediately. 

Infections

When medical providers do not monitor patients or follow safety protocols, the patient could develop an infection after surgery. Without prompt treatment, an infection could become life-threatening. Serious infections can also result in permanent disabilities. 

Defective Medical Devices

If a doctor or medical provider knowingly uses a defective or recalled medical device, the doctor could be liable for damages caused by the medical device. If the doctor is negligent in monitoring recalls or setting up a process to identify notices of recalls, the doctor could also be liable for damages. Additionally, the device’s manufacturer could also be liable under product liability laws

Filing Claims for Medical Errors

When a medical error causes harm or injury to the patient, that patient might be entitled to compensation for injuries and damages. Compensation available in a medical malpractice claim includes:

  • Reimbursement for medical expenses and medical treatment
  • Reimbursement for loss of income and benefits
  • Compensation for future loss of income and decreases in earning potential because of permanent disabilities
  • Compensation for permanent impairments, including compensation for future medical care and long-term personal care
  • Compensation for physical pain, mental anguish, emotional distress, and psychological trauma
  • Reimbursement for out-of-pocket expenses, including travel expenses, help with household chores, and other costs related to the medical error

To recover compensation for medical errors, you must prove that the medical error caused your injury, harm, and damages. If you were not harmed or sustained damages because of the medical error, a medical malpractice claim might not result in compensation.

You must also prove that the medical provider breached the duty of care owed to you by committing the medical error. Most personal injury cases involving medical errors need expert witnesses. 

Medical experts review the case to determine the accepted medical standards that should have been used in your case. The medical experts testify how the doctor failed to meet the medical standards.

Talk with a personal injury lawyer as soon as possible about medical error claims. There are deadlines for filing claims related to medical errors and medical negligence. 

The facts of the case could change the deadlines for filing claims. Prompt legal advice is the best way to avoid losing your right to file a medical malpractice lawsuit.