Common Types of Medical Malpractice and Their Causes

Doctors have been held responsible for their actions for thousands of years. Hammurabi’s Code, a set of 282 laws inscribed in stone by the Babylonian king Hammurabi (r. 1795-1750 BCE), contains sections about ramifications for medical errors. The Code says that a doctor who makes a mistake during surgery that harms the patient should be punished.
The first medical malpractice case in the United States happened in 1794. The plaintiff successfully sued after his wife died due to the surgeon’s negligence during the operation.

Between 1835 and 1865, a flood of malpractice suits hit the courts. Most involved fractures and dislocations that resulted in poor results or deformities. Today, about 85,000 medical malpractice lawsuits are filed annually in the United States.

The Most Common Cause of Malpractice Suits Against Doctors

A majority of Americans report having positive experiences with the health care system. But one in five have experienced medical errors in their treatment. About a third of those experiencing a medical error assert that they were harmed. The more common types of malpractice include:

  • Diagnostic error
  • Surgical error
  • Incorrect treatment
  • Birth injuries
  • Medication errors
  • And more

By far, most Americans have positive interactions with the healthcare system. Those who experience harm due to medical malpractice want and deserve adequate compensation and restoration. People injured by a doctor’s negligence seek help from a personal injury lawyer in Las Vegas.

Did You Give Informed Consent?

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Obtaining informed consent from a patient before conducting treatment or other aspects of health care, including:

  • The sharing of patient information
  • Blood transfusions
  • Administering anesthesia
  • And more

Obtaining informed consent from a patient follows a process that typically includes:

  • A description of the planned procedure
  • Establishing the patient’s decision-making role
  • Discussing any alternatives to the planned procedure
  • Discussing the risks involved in the procedure
  • Documenting the patient’s preference

When Consent is Unnecessary
Planned procedures typically require a patient’s consent. There are two situations, however, in which a patient need not give consent:

  1. Emergencies
  2. When the patient is incapable of giving consent

Emergencies: When a patient requires immediate treatment to prevent death or severe health consequences, informed consent can be waived. Those treating such a patient in an emergency can assume that the patient would want treatment.

An inability to give consent: Conditions, where patients cannot voluntarily give consent to medical care, include:

  • The patient is unresponsive
  • The patient is a minor
  • The patient is mentally incompetent or incapacitated

Medical malpractice can be a complicated area of personal injury law. If you suffered injuries due to a medical procedure that did not go as planned, contact the Las Vegas personal injury law firm below for a FREE consultation.

How Can a Personal Injury Lawyer Help?

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A medical malpractice liability claim is a form of personal injury. Such a claim pursues a health care professional for damages caused by negligence or error. Medical malpractice claims have some basic requirements that include:

  • There must be a doctor-patient relationship
  • The doctor was negligent
  • That negligence caused an injury to the patient
  • The patient suffered damages as a result of the injury

Medical procedures come with risks. Usually, the risks involved in a treatment or procedure are explained to the patient. Informed consent does not relieve the doctor from performing treatment or a procedure that fails to meet Nevada’s duty of care standard.

Medical malpractice in Nevada is called professional negligence. Professional negligence means “the failure of a provider of health care, in rendering services, to use the reasonable care,
skill or knowledge ordinarily used under similar circumstances by similarly trained and experienced providers of health care.”

There are time restraints and procedural requirements to filing a professional negligence claim. If you have suffered an injury in a medical procedure or treatment, securing a personal injury lawyer in Las Vegas, NV, with the necessary skill and experience, is essential. Click on the link below for more information about how The Schnitzer Law Firm can help you.

Medical Standard of Care

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As a patient, you have the right to expect a standard of care from your healthcare professionals consistent with the standards met by reasonable healthcare professionals under similar circumstances. Expert testimony establishes the criteria for your medical treatment or procedure. Nevada law requires that an affidavit of merit by a qualified expert accompany a lawsuit to specify the following:

  • That the allegations in the lawsuit are supported
  • That identifies the health care provider, such as a doctor or hospital, responsible for the medical negligence
  • That details the negligent acts committed

Nevada law requires that the affidavit submitted be by someone who has practiced medicine in a “substantially similar” type of medical practice.

Call or Click Today
If you think you have a medical malpractice case, contact The Schnitzer Law Firm online at or call (702) 960-4050 for your FREE consultation.

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