What Sorts Of Incidents Are Considered Medical Malpractice?

One of the most common questions a medical malpractice attorney will hear covers whether a particular case counts as malpractice. While this list doesn't include every possible scenario, the following 5 instances represent some of the more common forms.


Doctors often have to make informed decisions about what conditions a person might have. Getting it wrong, though, may have catastrophic consequences. The law allows quite a bit of room for doctors to not be perfect in the diagnostic process. However, there does come a point where a radically bad diagnosis, such as saying they must amputate a foot that could be treated with gout medication, becomes medical malpractice.

Typically, a medical malpractice lawyer will consult with experts in the field covered by the case. If those experts indicate that the diagnosis was something no competent professional would have reached, then there may be an argument for a malpractice claim.

Poor Skills

Every medical professional is also required to maintain appropriate skills for their practice. A spinal surgeon, for example, should be up-to-date on techniques for working around nerves and vertebrae. Likewise, they need to be able to execute delicate maneuvers during surgery. If a doctor displays notably poor skills in executing procedures, that may be construed as malpractice.

Excessive Prescription of Drugs

Prescribing drugs is an everyday job in the world of medicine. However, it's important for professionals to consider many things when selecting doses. For example, a doctor might commit malpractice by giving a standard dose of a painkiller to someone who is especially small. If the patient suffered an overdose, the prescription could be used as evidence that the doctor didn't competently handle the process.

A similar sort of case can be built against a pharmacist, too. If the doctor's recommended dosage on the prescription was right and the dosage included with the prescription you got at the pharmacy was wrong, that would be malpractice.

Product Liability

Not all malpractice cases are aimed at doctors, nurses, or pharmacists. Manufacturers may be just as liable for the products they sell. If you were prescribed a sleep apnea device and it caused lung injuries after proper use, for example, that would be grounds for a claim.

Delayed Diagnosis or Treatment

Many medical procedures are time-sensitive. If someone is experiencing chest pains, for example, they probably need treatment right away. Taking too long compared to the professional standard of care to reach a diagnosis or provide treatment can be malpractice.

To learn more, reach out to a local medical malpractice lawyer.