Medical Malpractice Comes in Many Forms December 30, 2010.

Medical malpractice isn’t always recognized for what it is. Patients tend to believe the best about their doctors, despite troubling outcomes.

There are a number of reasons why medical malpractice isn’t quite as prevalent as it could be. One of those reasons is that people don’t always recognize what medical malpractice really is. They trust their doctor to always to the right thing, that they won’t be harmed and that their medical outcomes will be beneficial and not cause them serious injury or death.

Unfortunately, and sometimes despite their best intentions, doctors and other health professionals cause pain, injury and death as a result of intentional or unintentional negligence. It can be something as little as the wrong pill, the wrong time or the wrong dose and someone could be dead or gravely harmed. Awareness of what medical malpractice actually is goes a long way towards understanding when a medical negligence case is applicable after a bad medical outcome.

Keep in mind that not every bad outcome in a medical situation is due to medical malpractice or negligence. Sometimes, bad things just happen and there was nothing anyone could do about it. Do not let that stop you from talking to an experienced Cleveland medical malpractice lawyer, as you may have a case and not realize it.

In what areas do you tend to find instances of medical malpractice? One typical area is birth injuries. In many instances, these types of cases are defined by actual physical trauma or illness before, during or after birth. If the injury is life altering, meaning changes the course of the baby’s life at birth, the parents may be able to seek compensation to cover the cost of future treatments.

Medication errors are way up there on the list of things that can and do go wrong when dealing with a medical situation. These happen when a health professional knowingly prescribes or gives a patient the wrong medication, medication that the patient is allergic to, or gives the wrong dose of the right medication. The key here is the term "knowingly prescribes or gives" the medication, because in some cases the doctor and the patient may not know that they are allergic to a certain medication.

Along with medication errors, another category of medical malpractice that stalks the halls of hospitals and clinics is the failure to diagnose or misdiagnosis. Some people think they are the same thing, but in court, they are different. Misdiagnosis is when the doctor gets it totally wrong and, for instance, diagnoses lung cancer as asthma. Failure to diagnose is when an illness or condition just is not caught at all.

This is a fine line to walk in court, and there are cases where there is an overlap between failure to diagnose and misdiagnosis. Understand that the bottom line typically tends to be the same – harm to the patient or death. For cases like this, speak to an experienced Cleveland medical malpractice lawyer.