Most people place a great deal of trust in healthcare professionals. After all, they’re the ones who are licensed to save your life from illnesses or injuries. They’re also bound by an ethical code that dictates they serve their patients as best they can.
However, medical professionals are also human beings who make mistakes. When these mistakes cause serious injuries, losses, or compromise the patient’s health, they’ve become medical malpractice.
As unfortunate as it is, there are many types of medical malpractice. Keep reading this article to learn more about them so you can protect yourself.
What Is Medical Malpractice?
Medical malpractice is when a healthcare professional or medical facility does not provide the level or standard of care expected of them. When this happens, it can cause serious harm or injury to a patient.
Lawsuits are filed to seek compensation for damages, including medical expenses, lost wages, and emotional damages. However, do note not all errors are considered medical malpractice—the legal requirements for a successful claim vary.
It’s Not Medical Malpractice If…
Just because a doctor or a nurse made a mistake does not mean it’s a medical malpractice issue. This is because although healthcare professionals provide adequate care, errors cannot be totally prevented.
Some examples of situations that are not medical malpractice:
The Patient’s Condition Is Worsening
A patient’s condition can worsen regardless of the level of care given by their doctor or nurses. Healthcare professionals may not be able to treat a condition completely—some cannot be cured. So, if the patient’s illness or injury worsens and the medical professional meets the highest level of care, it is not medical malpractice.
The Patient Experiences Adverse or Bad Results
Although medical malpractice issues constitute adverse outcomes, not every result severely impacts the health condition of the patient. A healthcare provider may follow protocol and go beyond what’s needed to provide good-quality care to no avail. Unfortunately, some unavoidable situations do not mean the medical provider was negligent.
The Patient Was Given Rushed or Rude Care
While poor manners are not something anyone wants to experience from a healthcare professional, your doctor or nurse acting rushed or being rude does not qualify as a medical malpractice example.
If the professional communicated your treatment plan, diagnosis, detailed your medication, answered all your questions, and explained all your options, they still gave you the level of care you needed.
Common Examples of Medical Malpractice
Misdiagnosis or Delayed Diagnosis
This is the most common type of medical malpractice. It occurs when a healthcare professional fails to correctly diagnose a patient's condition or disease, which leads to incorrect treatment. Alternatively, the diagnosis is delayed, resulting in delayed treatment.
It can also be malpractice if the medical professional fails to provide adequate care that any other professional in their field with the same skill level could provide.
Surgeons have one of the most intricate levels of training in the medical field—and for good reason. One wrong move can damage someone’s organs, tear human tissue, or accidentally leave surgical instruments inside the patient’s body. Performing the wrong procedure can sometimes lead to the loss of human life.
Many surgeons face medical malpractice claims if they mess up a procedure.
This mistake involves providing or administering the wrong medication, the wrong dose, or the wrong delivery method, causing harm or injury to the patient.
Two lives are at stake when a baby is born, and the consequences can be dire if the healthcare provider is negligent in their duties. If injuries occur to a newborn during labor and delivery—such as brain damage, cerebral palsy, or brachial plexus injuries—it can result in a lengthy malpractice claim.
Dental treatment is just as complicated as surgery. Misdiagnosis, performing incorrect or unnecessary procedures, or failure to provide appropriate care are all grounds upon which a medical malpractice claim can be filed against a professional.
Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect
The government of Canada found that of all seniors whose violent victimization was reported to police in 2020, 71% were victimized inside a residential location. Of these victims, 83% were victimized inside a private residence and 15% inside a communal residence, namely a retirement or nursing home. This is a common and serious problem.
A medical malpractice claim can also occur when a nursing home or long-term care facility fails to provide adequate care to its residents, leading to injury or death.
Protecting Yourself Against Medical Malpractice Claims
Working in the medical field can be a demanding and challenging job.
Healthcare professionals need to protect themselves against claims of medical malpractice, especially if they know they have provided a high level of care to their patients. Purchasing healthcare professionals insurance is a great way to secure your finances against risks and hazards while treating patients.
Under this insurance type is medical malpractice insurance. Also known as medical professional liability insurance, this policy provides coverage to healthcare providers from claims against negligence or wrongful practices resulting in injuries, costly medical fees, or property damage.
Let KASE Insurance Take Care of Your Insurance Needs
Now that you’ve read medical malpractice examples and understand when a patient can and cannot file a claim, take the next step and protect yourself by partnering with an insurance broker.
KASE Insurance is an award-winning insurance brokerage that provides customizable insurance plans designed to suit your needs—no unnecessary riders guaranteed.
Contact us today to learn more about our services, or call us to get a quick quote.