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Understanding Medical Malpractice

Understanding Medical Malpractice

While there are inherent risks in medical treatment, medical practitioners are expected to operate with a certain standard of quality and care. When this does not happen, patients may be left with severe injuries or long-term health issues. Understand the different types of medical malpractice and learn what you can do if you’ve been harmed by a doctor or hospital’s negligence.

What Constitutes Medical Malpractice?

Medical malpractice occurs when the negligence of a hospital, doctor, or other healthcare professional causes injury to a patient. Some of the most common causes of medical malpractice include surgical errors, misdiagnosis, delayed diagnosis, and improper administration of drugs or sedatives.

To be considered medical malpractice, a claim must have the characteristics below:

  • A violation of the standard of care. The standard of care mandates that there are certain medical standards that are recognized as acceptable medical treatment by reasonably prudent healthcare professionals. If it can be determined that the standard of care was not met, then negligence may be established.

  • An injury was caused by the negligence. The patient must prove they sustained an injury that would not have occurred if the medical practitioner had not been negligent.

  • The injury resulted in significant damages. To pursue a medical malpractice claim, the patient must show the injury resulted in disability, loss of income, suffering and hardship, or significant medical bills.

Brain and Birth Injuries

Brain and birth injuries are two common consequences of medical malpractice. Sadly, these injuries are often linked. Several birth injuries involve injuries to the brain or nervous system, including cerebral palsy, Erb’s palsy, and brachial palsy.

Common causes of birth injury from medical malpractice include:

  • Improper use of vacuum.

  • Excessive force during removal of the baby from the birth canal.

  • Improper administration of medication.

  • Waiting too long to perform a C-section.

  • Failure to diagnose fetal distress.

  • Inducing labor at the wrong moment or with the wrong amount of medication.

Potential implications of cerebral palsy, Erb’s palsy, and brachial palsy include physical and developmental disabilities, impaired motor skills, nerve damage, and more. Keep an eye on your child during their first months of life and make sure they’re meeting all of their developmental milestones. If they are not, they may be suffering from a birth injury.

Seeking Action against Negligent Medical Professionals

If you suspect an injury or illness was caused by medical malpractice, it’s important to take prompt action before the statute of limitations expires. You have two years to commence a medical malpractice suit from the date the injury occurred, or within two years from the date the injury was detected. The thought of going to court against a medical practitioner or a hospital may sound intimidating, but with the right legal counsel, you will be able to seek justice for yourself or your loved one who has been harmed by medical malpractice.

Those who plan to initiate medical malpractice legislation should understand that it can be a long, difficult process, and cases can carry on for months or years. It’s important not to let that discourage you; if you’ve been injured due to medical malpractice, you’re likely entitled to financial compensation.


Don’t miss out on the justice you deserve. Our experienced personal injury attorneys are well-versed in this area of law and we’re here to fight for you. Our attorneys at Berthold Law Firm have over 70 years of experience and we’ve recovered millions of dollars for our clients.

If you or someone you love has been injured due to medical malpractice, let us fight for you. Contact Berthold Law Firm, PLLC at (304) 605-2040 for a free case consultation today!

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