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Medical Malpractice: Definitions and Prevalence

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Updated November 30, 2018 | Medical Malpractice |


Medical malpractice is a form of negligence by healthcare or other medical professionals. These errors, in which treatment was substandard or caused harm, illness, injury, or death to a patient, often have to do with a diagnosis, prescription, drug dosage, overall health management, or hospital aftercare.

Clinics, hospitals, doctors, nurses and therapists, however, are not responsible for all medical harms that occur. They are only legally liable if your injuries are the direct result of their actions—or lack of action—that deviates from the quality of care that other competent and qualified medical professionals would provide in the same situation.

Medical Malpractice Statistics

According to the Massachusetts General Hospital, every year in the United States:

  • Approximately 15,000 to 19,000 malpractice suits are filed against doctors
  • One in three hospital patients experience a medical error
  • Around 195,000 people die from preventable hospital errors

Common Causes of In-Hospital Errors

Medical malpractice or negligence errors often result from:

  • Patients receiving the wrong medications or dosages
  • Incorrect diagnoses
  • Surgery on wrong body parts
  • Surgeons/technicians leaving surgical instruments or products inside patients
  • Surgery resulting in unremitting back pain

Contact a Medical Malpractice Attorney Today

If you or a loved one have been injured as a result of medical malpractice, contact the Indianapolis Medical Malpractice Attorneys of Wilson Kehoe Winingham. The lawyers at WKW can help you get the compensation you deserve. Call 317.920.6400 or fill out an online contact form for a free, no-obligation case evaluation.

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