What are the Most Common Washington Medical Malpractice Claims?

By Hardwick & Pendergast, P.S. on February 24, 2016

Medical malpractice happens when a doctor or other professional health care worker makes a negligent mistake while providing care that hurts a patient. In these cases, a patient is injured because the medical professional failed to act with a reasonable standard of care. According to the National Practitioner Data Bank, there are almost 20,000 medical malpractice lawsuits in the United States each year.

Considering the millions of hospital visits Americans make, 20,000 is a pretty small number. But, that’s still 20,000 people who got hurt that shouldn’t have. That’s enough people to fill a basketball arena. Here are the most common medical malpractice claims:

Missed Diagnosis

The American Medical Association (AMA) reports that about 60 percent of medical malpractice claim involves a misdiagnosis or a delayed diagnosis. Many of these missed diagnosis claims were related to cancer and heart attacks. In these cases, a missed or delayed diagnosis can lead to missing early treatment that could have helped (or even saved) patients. Appendicitis and bone fractures are also very common missed ailments.

Medication Errors

Errors in prescribing, dosage, and administration of drugs were the second most common medical malpractice claims. Medication errors were present in 20 percent of claims. Almost half of fatal medication errors happened to patients over the age of 60.

Surgical Errors

These can be some of the most painful medical malpractice cases. It might be hard to believe, but there are cases of surgeons operating on the wrong part of the body, do the wrong surgery, or perform a surgery meant for another patient. These medical malpractice errors are negligent communication mistakes that injure patients. Though these mistakes aren’t as common as others, they do happen regularly.

Childbirth Injuries

In these cases, a medical malpractice claim can be brought for injuries that happen before or during the birth process. A number of fetal injuries are caused by medical malpractice, including brain injuries like cerebral palsy, broken bones, and nerve damage.

Contact an Experienced Washington Injury Attorney

While we’ve listed some of the most common, there are many reasons for medical malpractice claims. If you or a family member have been injured by a medical professional, you need an experienced attorney on your side. Hardwick & Pendergast, P.S. have helped many Washington families through this tough time. Let us be there for yours. Contact us today at (888) 228-3860.




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