Understanding medical malpractice is important for any victim of medical negligence and for family members of victims of medical malpractice. Because of the seriousness of medical malpractice, it is important to understand what it includes, what types of medical malpractice there are and what remedies are available to victims of medical malpractice.

Medical malpractice typically involves medical error and can occur in diagnosis, treatment, dosing medication, health management and aftercare. Doctors, hospitals and other medical professionals are all expected to provide a certain standard of care to patients. When a health care professional fails to provide the standard of care that would be expected of a medical care provider in similar circumstances, and harm results, the medical professional may be liable to the victim for damages.

Medical malpractice can occur in a variety of circumstances including failure to diagnose and misdiagnosis; failure to order appropriate tests or evaluate the results; unnecessary or incorrect site surgery; leaving items inside the patient’s body during surgery; operating on the wrong body part or part of the body; potentially fatal infections that were acquired while the patient was in the hospital; failure to properly follow up; premature discharge from the hospital; and prescribing the wrong dosage of medication or the wrong medication.

The Medical Malpractice Center reports that in the U.S. there are between 15,000 and 19,000 medical malpractice lawsuits against doctors each year. Victims of medical malpractice and their families may be able to recover compensation for their physical, financial and emotional damages through a medical malpractice claim for damages if they have suffered a medical error that caused them harm.