Legal Guide

Top 5 causes of medical malpractice in the United States

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Nowhere in the world is medical malpractice as renowned as it is in the USA. More than 17,000 cases are brought to US courts annually, in which medical staff have been found to have mistreated the patient in some way. Although thousands of procedures take place every day and are performed perfectly, there will always be that small few who end up worse off.

Medical malpractice has become such a huge problem in the United States, that we thought it was the perfect time to review the top five most frequent causes of it happening.

The Top 5 Most Common Causes of Medical Malpractice in the USA

What are these common causes of medical malpractice? They aren’t what you would think…

1 - Diagnosis Definitions

Any medical malpractice law firm will tell you that being misdiagnosed, or not receiving a diagnosis in time to effectively treat your condition, are the two most common things clients complain of. Misdiagnosis can lead to prescriptions which may actually make the condition you are suffering from worse. It is a similar story with doctors who do not diagnose a condition in time, therefore letting it worsen. Both these combined causes medical malpractice are thought to result in more than 220,000 deaths in the USA annually[1].

2 – Childbirth

Medical negligence is the second most common cause of medical malpractice in the USA. A single mistake made during the birthing process can result in death, either for mother or child. Asides from this most grievous circumstance, mistakes with medication and birth injuries can take a long time to heal and incur large financial responsibilities. When medical costs skyrocket at no fault to the patient, it is time to call in a lawyer.

3 - Medical Error

A recent CNBC report found that medical error was the third most common cause of medical malpractice lawsuits in the USA. Some alarming statistics were revealed, including that the numbers of people in the US who die annually because of medical errors may be misreported. One John Hopkins study claims the numbers may be as high as 444,000 people. If the USA is losing half a million people every year to medical errors, it is no wonder that we have a court process to secure our safety and hold our medical teams to account.

4 - Anaesthesia Errors

Statistically speaking, anaesthetic errors during procedures in the United States are uncommon. But this does not mean that they don’t happen. One study found that comorbidity was the biggest contributor to increased risk and that those at greatest risk had pre-existing electrolyte and fluid disorders. Between 2007 and 2014 something like 17,000 anaesthetic errors were made. Although the chances are slim that it will happen to you, they are not zero.

5 - Informed Consent

There are serious limitations on what constitutes informed consent for medical procedures in the USA. For example, you cannot ask a child if they consent to medical procedures, since their understanding of consent is limited. Similarly, someone in a vulnerable position should not be pressured into giving consent. If you feel this has happened to you, you may be entitled to compensation.


Don’t hesitate to get help if you think you have been the victim of medical malpractice.. Everyone is entitled to get the compensation they deserve for any trouble and pain.


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