What is Medical Malpractice?

Content Reviewer, Attorney James P. Maniscalco
Created by our team of legal writers and reviewed by James P. Maniscalco. J.D.

Did you or a loved one receive medical attention, and leave the hospital in worse condition than you arrived in? You may have grounds for a medical malpractice lawsuit.

Typically these types of cases can be difficult to pinpoint, being that there needs to be a strong legal basis for a medical malpractice lawsuit. According to the National Center for Biotechnology Information, you will need to prove that the physician acted negligently in rendering care, and that such negligence resulted in injury. Injuries or harm resulting from the negligence do not have to be related only to physical and mental pain, but also can be related to lost income and future medical costs.

Legal Requirements

In all medical malpractice cases, these four elements, as stated by the National Center for Biotechnology Information must be proved to provide a legal basis.

  • The existence of a legal duty on the part of the doctor to provide the best care possible to a patient
  • A breach of this duty on behalf of the doctor to adhere to the standards of the profession
  • A causal relationship between said breach of duty and injury to the patient
  • The existence of damages that stem from the injury and solicit a claim for compensation

What is Medical Malpractice: Common Cases

According to the Journal of Patient Safety, there are 400,000 deaths a year from preventable medical errors, making preventable medical errors the third most common killer in the United States.

Common medical errors include: childbirth injuries, medication errors, anesthesia errors, and surgical errors. Most medical malpractice claims fall into 3 categories: failure to diagnose, improper treatment, and failure to warn a patient of known risks.

Why Hire a Medical Malpractice Lawyer

A medical malpractice lawsuit is very complex and the burden of proof lies with you, that’s why it’s best to get professional legal help.

An experienced medical malpractice lawyer knows how to prove negligence, what evidence will support your claims, how to properly examine medical documents, and how to deal with medical companies. If you think you may have a medical malpractice lawsuit, call today and speak to an experienced lawyer about your situation.


  1. Journal of Patient Safety. A New, Evidence-based Estimate of Patient Harms Associated with Hospital Care. Retrieved February 12, 2014.
  2. National Center for Biotechnology Information. An Introduction to Medical Malpractice in the United States. Retrieved February 12, 2014.
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