6 Common Mistakes That Can Lead to Medical Malpractice Claims

court gavel on top of a stethescope and doctor lab gown

If you or a loved one have recently undergone medical treatment for an illness or accident, you are aware of how stressful it can be. In addition to the pain or suffering you may experience, you must trust physicians, nurses, and other medical professionals with your well-being or that of your loved one. You have to have confidence that they will uphold their responsibility to give you the best care and treatment possible.

Doctors and medical professionals have a duty to provide the best treatment possible for their patients. Sadly, they do not always do so. When medical practitioners fail in their role, patients may sustain serious injuries or even pass away. If the doctor’s negligence results in medical malpractice and negatively impacts the patient’s life, the patient has the right to file a claim and demand fair compensation. 

Medical malpractice is the violation of a medical professional’s obligation to provide competent treatment. According to state law, if a doctor or other medical professional’s negligence causes a patient harm or death, the plaintiff may file a civil lawsuit (medical responsibility or medical malpractice) against them.

Medical malpractice is a serious issue in New York. According to the National Practitioner Data Bank, New York had 63,675 medical malpractice cases and reports on payments for medical misconduct from 1990 to 2022. Comparatively, California, a state with almost double the population of New York, had 54,316 medical malpractice cases and reports of malpractice payments in the same timeframe.

Medical personnel and patients alike might suffer harm as a result of medical malpractice allegations. Many people might need to be made aware of a few typical errors that could result in a medical malpractice claim. In this post, we’ll talk about mistakes that medical professionals can make and what people can do if they become victims of malpractice.

If your doctor has made a mistake you may have a valid medical malpractice claim. Contact The Pagan Law Firm to discuss your case.

What Is Medical Malpractice?

It is crucial to first understand what constitutes medical malpractice to properly understand the common mistakes that might result in it. Medical malpractice occurs when a doctor or other medical practitioner injures a patient by acting in a way that is subpar to the required level of care. In other words, it is considered medical malpractice when a healthcare practitioner or provider fails to offer a patient proper care, fails to take proper actions, or provides a patient poor care that results in harm, injury, or death.

Doctors and healthcare professionals are not liable for all of the harm and injuries a patient experiences. They are, however, legally liable if the patient suffers harm or injury as a direct result of the healthcare provider departing from the standard of care that is typically anticipated in such circumstances. In addition to medical professionals engaging in medical misconduct, overall hospital negligence can also be the cause of medical malpractice.

There are many things to take into account for medical malpractice to be considered:

  • According to the law, healthcare providers must uphold specific standards or risk being charged with negligence
  • If there is no harm or injury but the patient believes the practitioner was careless, then there is no basis for a claim
  • The patient must demonstrate that carelessness resulted in harm or injury and that it would not have occurred in the absence of medical negligence
  • The patient must demonstrate that the damage or injury brought on by the medical negligence resulted in a significant loss or damage such as suffering, enduring hardship, constant pain, lost wages, or disability

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What Is a Medical Malpractice Claim?

If doctors or other healthcare providers fail to uphold their duty of care and instead worsen your condition or situation, you might experience severe physical and financial problems, including crippling injuries, agony and suffering, and huge future medical expenses, in addition to feeling deceived. When this happens, you have the right to file a medical malpractice claim to pursue financial compensation and other compensation that you deserve. Damages, including economic, noneconomic, and punitive damages, may be awarded in civil lawsuits, including malpractice claims.

When you file a medical malpractice lawsuit, you must demonstrate that the harm and injuries you are experiencing are the consequence of medical misconduct to receive compensation for your physical and economic losses. 

Patient-Doctor Relationship

You must first prove that your interaction with your doctor was professional. You’ll need to prove that you made doctor visits and paid for your treatment. Bring your medical bills, medical records, and invoices as sufficient documentation. If a consulting healthcare professional did not provide your treatment, there may be concerns regarding the connection between you and the doctor.

Negligence That Causes Injury

Even if you are certain that your doctor made a mistake, you still need to demonstrate how this mistake hurt you for it to qualify as medical malpractice. There has to be clear evidence that the medical practitioner’s actions and treatment — or lack thereof — led to a worsening or development of your condition or injury. 

In a medical malpractice case, the plaintiff must demonstrate that the doctor’s carelessness or incompetence most likely caused the injury or death.

Legal Assistance From a Personal Injury Lawyer

Medical malpractice claims are subject to a variety of intricate rules and regulations that vary by state. It is important to seek legal counsel or legal representation from a lawyer that is acquainted with the laws in your state.

A seasoned medical malpractice attorney from The Pagan Law Firm will assist you with your medical malpractice case and any other legal issues. We have over three decades of experience and a proven track record of success. Don’t wait any longer and call us today at 212-967-8202.

6 Common Mistakes That Can Lead to Medical Malpractice Claims

Now that you are aware of what medical malpractice is and what constitutes a medical malpractice claim, it is time to learn about common mistakes that may lead to medical malpractice claims and what kind of claim you may be able to make if you believe you or a loved one has been the victim of malpractice.

1. Failure To Diagnose and Misdiagnosis

Misdiagnosis and failure to diagnose are frequent examples of medical mistakes that lead to medical malpractice claims.

Failure To Diagnose

Failure to diagnose is a type of medical malpractice when a doctor or other healthcare professional overlooks the signs and symptoms of a dangerous condition. A patient may endure pain and suffering due to the doctor’s inability to detect a potentially lethal illness or condition.


Misdiagnosis is a medical mistake in which a medical expert makes a diagnosis based on the symptoms they are aware of and the tests they have run, but the diagnosis turns out to be inaccurate and the real ailment is something different. For example, a patient complained about a cough and chest pain and the doctor determined that the patient had pneumonia when, in fact, the patient had Tuberculosis. 

Common conditions that are misdiagnosed include the following:

  • Cancer
  • Stroke
  • Heart attack
  • Lyme Disease
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Melanoma
  • Diabetes
  • Epilepsy
  • Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)
  • Appendicitis

2. Delayed Diagnosis

Delayed diagnosis is a common medical mistake in which a doctor or other medical expert is trying to determine the patient’s condition but could not deliver the diagnosis in a timely manner. The unexplained or unconfirmed medical condition may worsen while the patient is waiting for the diagnosis or testing. 

If the diagnosis had been made earlier, the patient may have received the right treatment and recovered properly.

The following instances show example situations in which a physician may have engaged in malpractice in relation to an inaccurate or delayed medical diagnosis:

  • During a regular blood test, a doctor observes elevated levels but does not request additional testing
  • When a patient complains of particular symptoms, the doctor ignores them
  • The lab work for a patient is misplaced or performed wrongly
  • When all indications point to the fact that a patient should be sent to a specialist, a doctor chooses not to refer their patient
  • The doctor should have done further tests or requested new information, but chose not to do so

3. Prescription Mistakes

Another common mistake that leads to medical malpractice lawsuits is prescription mistakes. Prescription errors often occur when a doctor or hospital gives a patient the incorrect medication, and the patient subsequently suffers harm or losses as a result of taking the incorrect medication. There are, however, several prescription mistakes and associated behaviors that might result in medical errors and legal issues. Here are some typical errors that can turn into personal injury cases:

  • Administering a patient the incorrect medicine
  • Administering the wrong dosage of the medicine
  • Incorrect drug labeling
  • Prescribing a drug to which the patient is allergic
  • Prescribing drugs that have a detrimental impact on a patient’s current medical conditions
  • Not informing the patient about possible medication side effects

4. Anesthesia Errors

Anesthesia errors are mistakes made when using anesthesia that cause the patient to sustain losses or harm. Most surgeries require anesthesia, so there is a significant potential for anesthetic mistakes. It must be established that a medical professional breached the recognized standard of care or acted carelessly and that the patient suffered or received an injury as a result of the mistake for anesthetic errors to qualify as medical malpractice. 

Here are the common anesthesia errors that might lead you to work with medical malpractice lawyers from a personal injury law firm for legal options:

  • Excessive anesthesia
  • Inadequate anesthesia
  • Possible negative drug-anesthesia interactions
  • Giving anesthesia to a patient with allergies
  • Delayed administration of anesthesia
  • Defective sedation-related medical equipment

With the assistance of reputable New York medical malpractice attorneys, you can be eligible to seek compensation due to this medical error.

5. Surgical Mistakes

Every surgical procedure has risks. Even when a doctor and medical personnel do all they are supposed to do, a patient might experience complications or pass away. However, if you were hurt as a result of a surgical mistake that might have been avoided, the practitioner may have committed medical negligence. 

Any incorrect, careless, or even unlawful behavior by a surgeon, anesthesiologist, or other medical practitioners during surgery that causes harm to a patient or wrongful death can be grounds for a medical malpractice claim.

A variety of surgical errors might take place. Here are a few of the most prevalent:

  • A procedure results in a nerve injury
  • Using too much or too little medicine, such as a mistake with the anesthetics
  • Making an incision in an incorrect location
  • Leaving a surgical tool within a patient, such as a sponge or a device
  • Working on the incorrect area
  • Operating on the incorrect patient
  • Surgeons wrongly decided that some procedures are not essential
  • The surgeon does not have the necessary experience or credentials to perform the surgery 

It can be challenging to find evidence that a surgical error contributed to medical negligence. You must seek the advice of New York medical malpractice lawyers to establish that any damage or injuries are the results of negligence and to receive the compensation to which you are entitled.

6. Childbirth Injuries

When medical staff members inflict an avoidable injury on a mother or her unborn child during pregnancy or childbirth, it can be ruled as medical negligence. Some birth injuries may heal quickly, but others may permanently impact the mother or infant. Medical malpractice that results in birth problems happens when physicians, nurses, or other health care professionals fail to provide the highest level of care during delivery.

Medical errors that occur during childbirth include:

  • Ignoring fetal discomfort and/or improperly keeping track of the baby’s heartbeat
  • Neglecting to stop or treat a mother’s extreme ripping or bleeding
  • Not doing a C-section when it is medically essential
  • Improper use of forceps or vacuum extraction, or neglecting to warn the mother of the hazards involved
  • Excessively yanking or twisting of the infant as they emerge from the birth canal

Here are common infant injuries as a result of medical errors during childbirth:

  • Brain damage
  • Cerebral palsy
  • Brachial plexus injuries (Erb’s palsy)
  • Intrauterine fetal demise
  • Kernicterus
  • Newborn cephalohematoma
  • Newborn jaundice
  • Skull fractures
  • Spinal cord injuries

Medical malpractice is a common occurrence in the United States. It is important to contact an experienced lawyer at The Pagan Law Firm immediately so we can begin gathering evidence as you focus on your recovery. Call us at 212-967-8202 today.

What To Do if You Suspect Medical Malpractice

If you suspect that you or a loved one is or has been the victim of medical malpractice, it can be confusing or overwhelming. Here are the actions you can take if you are unsure of how to move forward.

Ask for Medical Care From a Different Doctor

If you think you were injured or suffered losses as a result of medical negligence, you should seek out another doctor as soon as you can. For example, if you think that the initial physician misdiagnosed your problem, you will need a second opinion to accurately identify your problem. The second doctor can start treating your true condition if they determine that the first doctor was mistaken. It’s crucial to consult a second physician as soon as possible to prevent your health from getting worse as a result of the first physician’s errors.

Secure a Copy of Your Medical Records

Your medical history, symptoms, test findings, diagnosis, prescriptions, and treatment records are all comprehensively documented in your medical records. Without this evidence, it can be challenging to prove medical malpractice and succeed in a lawsuit. Request copies of these documents as soon as you can since they are crucial to your case.

Find a Medical Malpractice Attorney

Cases involving medical malpractice are complex and difficult to win alone. The Pagan Law Firm is a top-ranked law firm in New York, NY that has decades of experience with medical malpractice lawsuits. We believe that you shouldn’t have to cover medical expenses that shouldn’t have to be paid for in the first place because of someone else’s negligence. As a result, our medical malpractice attorneys can assist you in obtaining justice for you or a loved one who was hurt by negligent medical professionals. We make sure that the negligent party is held accountable for the emotional and economical suffering they caused.

Types of Damages in a Medical Malpractice Case

If you or a loved one has suffered from medical malpractice, you are entitled to compensation for your losses as a result of the healthcare provider’s error or other misconduct. The compensation will depend on the damages you have as a result of the medical malpractice. There are two main types of damages in a medical malpractice lawsuit: compensatory and punitive.

Compensatory Damages

Compensatory damages are given to patients as compensation for the actual losses they sustained as a result of medical malpractice. This kind of compensation can be used to cover any future medical costs, treatment costs, or other costs related to harm that they have incurred as a result of someone else’s medical negligence. Two main types of awards can be made when a court grants a plaintiff compensatory damages.

1. Economic Damages

Economic damages are awards that are measurable and simple to calculate because they are based on real costs the victim has experienced as a result of a medical error. The economic damages that need compensation include:

  • Medical expenses
  • Physical therapy expenses
  • Lifecare expenses
  • Lost wages
  • Property damages
  • Out-of-pocket court and litigation costs

2. Non-economic Damages

These damages are subjective and more difficult to quantify. These are non-monetary losses as a result of medical malpractice. Examples of non-economic damages include:

  • Psychological agony
  • Emotional damage
  • Physical suffering
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
  • Deformity
  • Shorter life expectancy
  • Ongoing medical care and therapies for injuries that take time to manifest
  • Defamatory harm
  • Loss of consortium

Punitive Damages

Punitive damages are granted only in cases where the offender has been found guilty of intentional or purposeful misbehavior. The victim’s injury must have been caused by someone or something that the court deems justifiably punishable. In other words, punitive damages are a type of punishment. It is a form of compensation over and above actual losses.

Contact The Pagan Law Firm Today

The Pagan Law Firm in New York City represents clients throughout the region. You can depend on us to take care of your legal obligations everywhere from the Bronx, Brooklyn, and Queens to Westchester County and New Jersey. For more than 30 years, the Pagan Law Firm has focused on personal injury and medical negligence with a strong track record of success. With the help of our experience and expertise, we can determine if the harm and injuries you have experienced are the result of medical negligence and assist you in establishing a credible case.

Click here for a free consultation and learn more about how a medical malpractice lawyer can help you fight against medical malpractice and get the fair compensation you deserve.

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