Available 24/7 for Free Consultations
Free Consultations 24/7

What Are The Main Types of Medical Malpractice?

Posted on 01/10/23

Mistakes made by doctors and healthcare professionals often leave patients in serious physical jeopardy. These errors can be considered medical malpractice when they cause worsened health conditions, disabilities, or injuries to the patient that cause them to sustain severe losses. Patients have the right to pursue damages and recover financial compensation.

Six of the Most Common Types of Medical Malpractice

Medical malpractice cases often are cases of misdiagnoses, delayed diagnoses, negligent failure to treat, birth injuries, and surgical malpractice. Below, we will discuss what each of these entails.


A doctor failing to diagnose a patient’s illness or condition may be a case of medical malpractice, significantly if the patient’s condition worsens because of the misdiagnosis. If the condition is diagnosed as something other than what the patient suffers from, and they receive harmful treatment, it also falls under the malpractice umbrella.

Some medical issues are truly complicated and baffling. If a similarly skilled doctor would be expected to diagnose the same issue, then the doctor who failed to may be guilty of malpractice. But, if the case is one of the more confusing ones, it may not be considered medical malpractice.

Delayed Diagnoses

Sometimes, delayed diagnoses are connected to an original misdiagnosis. The doctor may have initially misdiagnosed an illness or condition. Or they may have ignored the situation altogether. If the delay in diagnosing the condition results in the patient worsening because they did not have access to appropriate treatment, the doctor is to blame.

This can be a medical malpractice case because the original diagnosis did not meet the standard of care expected of other doctors in similar situations. If a doctor does not order the normally expected diagnostic tests or does not interpret them correctly, causing the patient harm, there may be a case for medical malpractice.

Negligent Failure to Treat

Doctors are often overworked and have more patients than they can reasonably handle. At times, they may prioritize profits over the health of their patients. They fail to practice due diligence when this occurs, and the patient may suffer.

This occurs when a treatment plan is not carried out, a patient is discharged before they are safely ready to go home, or a referral to a specialist is not provided. When follow-up care is necessary and not furnished, this, too, can be a case of medical malpractice.

Surgical Malpractice

Surgical malpractice is common, and some mistakes or neglect can lead to a lawsuit. Some of the more common surgical mistakes are listed below:

  • Wrong-site surgery
  • Surgery on the wrong patient
  • Performing the incorrect surgery
  • Damaging organs, nerves, or tissues during surgery
  • Unnecessary surgery is performed because the patient believes it is needed
  • Unsterilized surgical instruments used in the procedure
  • Objects being left inside the patient
  • An inappropriate amount of anesthesia administered, too little or too much
  • Failure to provide follow-up care

Birth Injuries

Birth injuries can result in injury or death to the mother and the child. They take many forms, some of which are listed below:

  • Inadequate prenatal care provided
  • Failure to diagnose complications
  • Incorrect usage of assistive devices causing cerebral palsy, or brachial plexus injuries
  • Unnecessary C-sections
  • Not performing a C-section in an emergency
  • Lack of fetal and maternal monitoring during labor
  • Anesthesia mistakes

Medical Device Defects

These cases are aimed at the manufacturers of faulty medical devices rather than the doctors using, recommending, or installing them. Patients may suffer injuries such as organ damage, or their conditions may worsen if a medical device is defective.

It is possible that the defect has not been discovered when it begins to cause problems for a patient, but this is no excuse. The manufacturer should have performed enough exhaustive testing to know that the defect exists. The liability lies at the feet of the manufacturer, and they should provide financial compensation for the injuries or the worsening of a condition that the patient sustains.

Legal Representation is Imperative

If you believe that you or a loved one has been harmed due to medical malpractice, you must contact a Buffalo, New York medical malpractice attorney to discuss the details. Your attorney can analyze the facts of your case and determine whether you may be entitled to compensation.

Medical mistakes are complicated, and medical professionals have big insurance companies backing them. You need an attorney who understands how to navigate the world of medical malpractice to ensure that you and your loved ones are properly compensated. Contact Towey Law, PLLC, for a legal team you can trust to fight for what you are due.