Common Causes of Medical Malpractice

Discover 10 Most Common Causes

Medical malpractice is a serious issue that affects countless patients and healthcare providers. While healthcare providers in Baltimore strive to provide excellent care, instances of medical error and malpractice can still occur. Understanding the common causes of medical malpractice in Baltimore can help raise awareness and promote measures to prevent these errors.

Contact Peter Angelos Law at 410-705-2405 to schedule a free consultation today. 

Understanding Medical Malpractice

Medical malpractice refers to the negligence or violation of a professional duty by a healthcare provider, resulting in harm to the patient. It can occur in various healthcare settings, such as hospitals, clinics, and even during routine medical procedures.

Medical malpractice is a complex issue that can have serious consequences for both patients and healthcare providers. When a healthcare provider fails to meet the accepted standard of care, it can lead to devastating outcomes for the patient. These outcomes can range from physical injuries and disabilities to emotional trauma and financial burdens.

The Legal Perspective of Medical Malpractice

From a legal standpoint, medical malpractice involves proving that the healthcare provider breached their duty of care, which directly caused harm or serious injury to the patient. This requires expert testimony and evidence establishing that the healthcare provider’s actions or lack thereof fell below the accepted standard of care.

The legal process for pursuing a medical malpractice lawsuit can be complex and time-consuming. It typically involves filing a lawsuit, gathering evidence, and presenting the case in court. Expert witnesses are often called upon to provide testimony regarding the standard of care and the healthcare provider’s deviation from it.

In addition to proving negligence, it is also necessary to establish a causal connection between the healthcare provider’s breach of duty and the harm suffered by the patient. This can be challenging, as there may be other factors contributing to the patient’s condition or outcome. However, with the help of medical experts and thorough investigation, it is possible to build a strong case for medical malpractice.

It is important to note that medical malpractice laws vary from jurisdiction to jurisdiction. The burden of proof, the statute of limitations, and the available damages can differ significantly. Therefore, it is essential to consult with an experienced medical malpractice attorney to navigate the legal complexities and ensure the best possible outcome for the injured patient.

Common Causes of Medical Malpractice

Some of the most common causes of medical malpractice in Baltimore include:

Misdiagnosis or Delayed Diagnosis:

Misdiagnosis occurs when a healthcare provider fails to correctly identify a medical condition, leading to incorrect treatment or no treatment at all. Delayed diagnosis, on the other hand, involves a significant delay in diagnosing a condition, which can worsen the patient’s prognosis. Both errors can result in unnecessary suffering and complications. This can be particularly devastating when a cancer misdiagnosis is involved.

Surgical Errors:

Surgical errors encompass a range of mistakes that can occur during surgery, including wrong-site surgery, instrument retention, nerve damage, and complications arising from anesthesia. These errors can lead to serious injuries, prolonged recovery, and the need for additional surgeries.

Medication Errors:

Medication errors involve mistakes in prescribing, administering, or monitoring medications. Examples include incorrect dosages, drug interactions, and administering the wrong medication. These errors can lead to adverse reactions, worsened medical conditions, or even fatalities.

Birth Injuries:

Birth injuries can occur during pregnancy, labor, or delivery due to negligence or mistakes made by healthcare providers. These injuries can lead to long-term disabilities or health issues for the newborn and can have a profound impact on the family.

Anesthesia Mistakes:

Anesthesia errors can involve administering too much or too little anesthesia, inadequate monitoring during surgery, or failing to consider a patient’s medical history. These errors can result in complications such as respiratory distress, cardiac issues, or even anesthesia awareness.

Inadequate Communication and Documentation:

Poor communication among healthcare providers, failure to properly document patient information, and lack of coordination in care can lead to misunderstandings, incorrect treatments, and compromised patient safety.

Lack of Informed Consent:

Healthcare providers have a responsibility to fully inform patients about the risks, benefits, and alternatives of medical procedures or treatments. Failing to obtain informed consent can lead to legal claims if patients experience unexpected complications.

Laboratory Errors:

Laboratory errors, such as incorrect test results or misinterpretation of lab data, can lead to misdiagnosis, delayed treatment, or inappropriate medical interventions.

Inadequate Supervision and Training:

Medical providers who lack proper training, supervision, or experience may make mistakes that result in patient harm. This can occur in various medical settings, from hospitals to clinics.

Failure to Follow Standard of Care:

Healthcare providers are expected to follow the accepted standard of care in their field. Deviating from this standard can lead to medical malpractice claims if patients suffer harm as a result.

The Impact of Medical Malpractice 

Medical malpractice not only affects patients but also has a significant impact on healthcare providers and the overall healthcare system.

Impact on Patients

Medical malpractice can have a profound impact on patients, ranging from physical and emotional suffering to financial burdens. The ways medical malpractice can affect patients includes: 

  • Worsened health conditions
  • Prolonged recovery
  • Permanent disabilities
  • Anxiety and depression
  • Loss of trust in healthcare
  • Coping with medical expenses
  • Lost wages
  • Ongoing treatments

Medical malpractice not only jeopardizes physical well-being but also erodes the fundamental sense of security patients should have when seeking medical care, leaving lasting scars on both their health and overall quality of life.

Impact on Healthcare Providers

Healthcare providers face professional and financial repercussions when medical malpractice occurs. Lawsuits can tarnish their reputation, leading to a decline in patient volume and trust. Additionally, insurance premiums for malpractice coverage can skyrocket, putting a strain on healthcare organizations and potentially limiting their ability to invest in patient care and safety initiatives.

If you suspect that you or a loved one have been a victim of medical negligence or malpractice in Baltimore, seeking the guidance of an experienced medical malpractice attorney is advisable to navigate the legal process and seek justice for the harm you’ve experienced.

The Consequences of Medical Malpractice

Medical malpractice has far-reaching consequences for patients as well as healthcare providers.

Physical and Emotional Impact on Patients

Patients who experience medical malpractice often suffer from physical injuries that can significantly impact their quality of life. Additionally, the emotional trauma resulting from such incidents can be devastating, leading to anxiety, depression, and a loss of trust in the healthcare system.

Financial Implications for Healthcare Providers

Medical malpractice claims can have substantial financial implications for healthcare providers. With increasing malpractice insurance costs, providers may face challenges in maintaining affordable healthcare services for patients.

Preventing Medical Malpractice

Prevention is key in reducing the occurrence of medical malpractice. Efforts should be made to mitigate the risk of these incidents and prioritize patient safety.

Importance of Communication in Healthcare

Effective communication plays a crucial role in preventing medical malpractice. Strong communication between healthcare providers and patients ensures that all pertinent information is shared, reducing the risk of errors and misunderstandings.

The Role of Continued Medical Education

Continued medical education is essential for healthcare providers to stay up-to-date with the latest advancements, best practices, and medical guidelines. This ongoing learning process enhances their skills and knowledge, leading to improved patient care and the prevention of medical malpractice.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What should I do if I suspect medical malpractice?

If you suspect medical malpractice, it is crucial to seek legal advice from a professional experienced in medical malpractice cases. They can guide you through the necessary steps to gather evidence and potentially pursue a claim.

Can healthcare providers be held accountable for medical malpractice?

Yes, healthcare providers can be held accountable for medical malpractice if it can be proven that they breached their duty of care, resulting in harm to the patient. It is essential to consult with an attorney specializing in medical malpractice to understand the specifics of your situation.

Are medical malpractice cases common?

Yes, medical malpractice cases are more common than you might think, with thousands of patients filing claims each year. The severity of these cases ranges from minor injuries to fatal consequences.

Is failure to obtain informed consent a common cause of medical malpractice?

Healthcare providers must inform patients about risks, benefits, and alternatives before procedures. Failing to obtain informed consent can lead to legal claims.

What should I do if I suspect medical malpractice in Baltimore?

If you suspect medical malpractice, consult an experienced medical malpractice attorney who can evaluate your case, gather evidence, and guide you through the legal process to seek justice and compensation.

How can an attorney help with a medical malpractice claim?

An attorney offers legal expertise, case evaluation, evidence gathering, negotiation skills, trial representation, and emotional support to help you pursue a successful medical malpractice claim in Baltimore.

What damages can be sought in a medical malpractice claim?

Damages sought in a medical malpractice claim may include medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, emotional distress, and other applicable compensation for the harm suffered.

What is the statute of limitations for filing a medical malpractice claim in Baltimore?

In Maryland, the statute of limitations for medical malpractice claims is generally three years from the date of injury or discovery of the injury, with certain exceptions.

Do I need an attorney for a medical malpractice claim?

Yes, having a knowledgeable medical malpractice attorney is highly recommended. They can provide legal expertise, navigate the complexities of the law, and advocate for your rights to ensure the best possible outcome for your claim.

Speak with a Baltimore Medical Malpractice Lawyer Today

If you have experienced harm due to medical malpractice in Baltimore, seeking legal representation is crucial to protect your rights and pursue the compensation you deserve. An experienced Baltimore medical malpractice attorney can guide you through the legal process of medical malpractice lawsuits, advocate for your interests, and work diligently to secure accountability for the harm you’ve suffered.

At Peter Angelos Law, we understand the complexities associated with medical malpractice claims and we are ready to fiercely represent your best interests. We offer a free, no-obligation consultation to individuals seeking answers from an attorney about a medical malpractice claim. If you or a loved one has suffered due to medical malpractice, contact us today.

Call Peter Angelos Law today at 410-705-2405.