Medicine is a complicated field. Every part or system of the body has its own specialists. Patients seeking care with what he or she thought was a common cold have been known to be redirected through a whole series of procedures and experts, only to come up dry on an accurate diagnosis. Sometimes those delays resulted in the patient becoming sicker or even dying.

That’s perhaps the stereotypical narrative many in New York city embrace when they imagine filing a medical malpractice claim. The reality is that the basis of medical malpractice rests in the concept of a failure to deliver an expected standard of care. And under that rubric, a wide range of issues can serve as the foundation of a claim. The question then becomes how to find an attorney and assess the merits of the case.

What follows is a brief list that we believe most legal experts would agree form the bases of the most frequent medical malpractice claims.

  • Breach of patient confidentiality: When you go to the doctor there are reams of documents and forms to fill out. What you might not know is that they are necessary because of the federal Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPPA). Your health information is your business and providers are liable if they allow that information to become public and cause harm.
  • Birth injuries: For all of the thousands of years of human procreation and advances in medicine and technology, medical negligence by doctors and nurses still often result in injury to mothers and newborns. In some instances, that negligence causes wrongful death.
  • Hospital negligence: Doctors and nurses are the care delivers. They are supported by hospital staff backed by hospital policies. Inadequate policies and insufficient staffing or training can all lead to hospital errors that prompt medical malpractice claims.
  • Failed treatment, misdiagnosis, and surgical error: These account for the greatest number of malpractice claims. They represent the most egregious examples of failing to deliver the standard of care expected by reasonable persons.

It is worth to note that not all mistakes rise to the level of malpractice. Knowing when an event does or does not is something that comes with skill and experience.