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The Most Common Kinds of Medical Malpractice Cases

On Behalf of | Jul 25, 2014 | Medical Malpractice

A new study cites failure to diagnose and medication errors as the most common reasons for medical malpractice lawsuits in the U.S.

Failure to Diagnose

A 2013 study by the journal BMJ Open found that failure to diagnose is the most common medical malpractice claim. One to two-thirds of medical malpractice claims had to do with missed diagnoses. The most common missed diagnoses were breast, colon, lung and skin cancers and heart attacks in adults, and meningitis in children.

Medication Errors

Medication errors include adverse events, medication interactions, and prescription related errors.

However, no matter what the cause for the claim, every malpractice case works the same way: the patient must prove that the medical professional did something a reasonable doctor would not have done, they must prove those actions directly caused their injury, and they must prove they sustained an injury. This proof often comes in the form of expert testimony.

In medical malpractice cases, patients can seek economic and non-economic damages. Economic damages allow the patient who was injured to receive compensation directly related to the costs of their injury, such as medical treatment, rehab, or lost wages. Non-economic damages are awarded to compensate for pain, suffering, and other conditions that represent loss of quality of life due to the injury that may not have a specific dollar figure.

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