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What is Medical Malpractice? A Quick Guide for Patients

By: Jeff Powless March 4, 2024 no comments

What is Medical Malpractice? A Quick Guide for Patients

Medical malpractice occurs far more often than most people realize. Every year, countless patients suffer from injuries, illnesses, and even death due to the negligent actions of healthcare professionals and institutions. If you believe that either you or a loved one has been a victim of medical malpractice, it’s important to understand the legal complexities involved and how best to protect your rights.

What Constitutes Medical Malpractice?

Medical malpractice is a type of professional negligence. Doctors, nurses, hospitals, nursing homes, and other medical providers are all held to certain standards of care. These standards are determined by what a reasonable and prudent professional in the same field would do under similar circumstances. When a medical provider deviates from these standards and their actions (or failure to act) result in harm to a patient, it may constitute medical malpractice.

Common Forms of Medical Malpractice

Medical malpractice doesn’t always involve dramatic or obvious errors. Instances of medical malpractice can include:

  • Misdiagnosis or Delayed Diagnosis: Failure to correctly diagnose an illness or injury, or delaying a diagnosis, can have severe consequences. This could lead to unnecessary treatments, delayed appropriate treatment, and even the progression of a disease or condition.
  • Surgical Errors: Mistakes during surgeries, such as operating on the wrong body part, leaving surgical instruments inside a patient, or causing damage to organs and nerves.
  • Medication Errors: Prescribing the wrong medication, administering the wrong dosage, or failing to consider drug interactions.
  • Anesthesia Errors: Complications caused by incorrect administration of anesthesia.
  • Inadequate Patient Care: This may include falls in healthcare facilities or the development of severe pressure sores (bedsores) due to neglect.

Seeking Experienced Legal Counsel is Crucial

If you suspect you or a loved one has suffered harm as a result of medical malpractice, don’t hesitate to seek legal representation. Medical malpractice cases are among the most complex in personal injury law, and a well-versed attorney can help in the following ways:

  • Investigate your case: A skilled attorney will thoroughly analyze your medical records, consult with medical experts, and determine if you have a valid claim.
  • Handle complex legal procedures: The laws regarding medical malpractice vary from state to state, and often involve strict deadlines known as “statutes of limitations.”
  • Negotiate with insurance companies: Experienced negotiators can help you receive just compensation.
  • Represent you in court: Your attorney will represent your best interests throughout your claim.

Our Firm is Here to Help

At Powless Law Firm, we have extensive experience representing victims of medical malpractice. We understand the emotional and financial strain these cases can cause. Our goal is to hold negligent medical providers accountable and obtain justice for our clients.

Don’t Wait, Contact Us Today

Medical Malpractice cases have time limits, so act quickly.  Schedule a free consultation to discuss the specifics of your situation and learn about your potential legal options.

Disclaimer: This article is intended for informational purposed only and should not be treated as a substitute for qualified legal advice. Consult with an experienced medical malpractice attorney for a comprehensive assessment of your case.


Jeff Powless is an attorney and the author of the 2017 book, Abuses and Excuses: How To Hold Bad Nursing Homes Accountable.  Abuses and Excuses breaks new ground in helping patients and families hold bad nursing homes accountable, sharing a wealth of insider strategies and insights. It’s an eye-opening account of corporate greed, acts of neglect and abuse, an insidious industry culture of cover-up, and the actual harm that inevitably befalls vulnerable nursing home patients all across the country with shocking frequency.

Additional Information:

The No. 1 Secret To Avoid Becoming A Medical Malpractice Victim

What is the Cap on Medical Malpractice Claims in Indiana?

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