Common medical-malpractice claims include misdiagnosis, delayed diagnosis, medication error, childbirth injury and anesthesia error, according to Nolo. To establish malpractice, a plaintiff must prove that a doctor caused him harm through incompetence or unreasonably poor skill. A simple mistake or poor outcome is not a basis for a claim.
Medication errors harm 1.5 million people in the United States annually, Nolo explains. Prescribing a patient the wrong medication for his condition is a common medication error. Claims also arise from incompetent administration of medication by a hospital, such as a patient being overdosed due to malfunctioning equipment.
Misdiagnosis and delayed diagnosis often result in a patient not receiving critical treatment, notes Nolo. When this causes the patient harm, a medical-malpractice claim is warranted if it can be established that a competent doctor would have made the correct diagnosis under the same circumstance.
Common childbirth injuries that result in malpractice claims include brain injuries and fractured bones. Erb's and Klumpke's palsy, which are conditions that result in damage to the nerves that control the hands and arms, are also common, according to Nolo. Claims also result from negligence in prenatal care, such as failure to identify birth defects and ectopic pregnancies.
Many medical-malpractice suits result from surgical errors, explains Nolo. Examples include organ punctures, operating on the wrong body parts, and leaving surgical instruments inside patients. Claims can also result from problems with anesthesia, which are often caused by faulty equipment or failure to monitor vital signs.