5 Warning Signs of Medical Malpractice

When you are seeking medical treatment for a health condition or helping a loved one through a hospitalization, it can be a stressful time! While dealing with medical bills or pain from an injury or illness, no one wants the additional worry of medical malpractice. However, it never hurts to be aware of the warning signs of medical malpractice so that you can keep yourself and your loved ones safe. Here are 5 warning signs of medical malpractice to watch out for during your next doctor’s visit or hospital stay.

What is Medical Malpractice?

Before looking for the signs of medical malpractice, it is important to understand what is means when someone experiences medical malpractice. Medical malpractice occurs when a physician or healthcare employee acts in a way that causes personal injury or wrongful death to their patient. Some examples of medical malpractice might include:

  • A patient who is paralyzed due to a surgical error
  • A baby who suffers head injuries during birth due to a doctor’s excessive force
  • A patient who becomes ill after receiving the wrong dosage of medication
  • A heart attack patient who dies after improper monitoring

Medical malpractice occurs when a medical professional does not uphold the “standard of care,” or the level of professionalism that is expected of them. This means that even if someone does go wrong during a treatment or procedure, it might not necessarily be medical malpractice if the doctor was still acting within the standard of care. For example, if someone’s body rejects a transplant, despite the doctor’s best efforts, it will likely not qualify as a medical malpractice case. On the other hand, if a surgeon amputates the wrong body part due to an error, that would likely be considered medical malpractice.

5 Warning Signs of Medical Malpractice

It’s important to remember that being unhappy with the results of a treatment or procedure does necessarily mean you are a victim of medical malpractice. That said, it is always important to be aware and alert when you seeking medical treatment or helping a loved one through a hospitalization or procedure. If you think you or a loved one is experiencing medical malpractice, here are five warning signs to watch out for.

An error or harm occurs

This is the most obvious sign of potential medical malpractice. When an error occurs during a treatment or procedure, or when someone suffers harm, it is very important to find out everything you can about the issue and how it was caused.

The hospital is understaffed

If you are at the hospital for a procedure or accompanying a loved one during a hospital stay, understaffing can be a warning sign of medical malpractice. When hospitals are understaffed, the medical staff might be overworked or stressed while dealing with a heavy caseload, leading to an increased possibility of errors like:

  • Improper medicine dosage
  • Prescribing the wrong medication
  • Improper reading of charts or medical documents
  • Forgetting to check in on patients

Your treatment isn’t working as expected

If your treatment is not having the expected results, it can be a potential cause for medical malpractice concerns. As mentioned above, being unhappy with the results of a treatment does not always mean medical malpractice. However, if you are experiencing vastly different results from what you expected, it could be a sign that you are experiencing medical malpractice. For example, if your doctor prescribes the improper dose of medication, you could see harm where you expected to see positive results. Similarly, unexpected side effects or new symptoms could also be a sign that you were misdiagnosed.

You receive a vastly different second opinion

Similarly to unexpected results, it may also be a warning sign of medical malpractice if you seek a second opinion and get a vastly different diagnosis. For example, if you are told that your stomach pains are caused by indigestion by Doctor A and then Doctor B urges you to go to the emergency room for an appendectomy, it can be a cause of failure to diagnose, a type of medical malpractice. If you have concerns about the validity of your initial diagnosis or fear that you are experiencing something worse than what you were diagnosed with, seeking a second opinion can not only help you get treatment or put your mind at ease—it can also help you discover if you were a potential victim of medical malpractice.

You are experiencing unnecessary treatment

If you feel that you doctor used extreme or invasive measure during a procedure, it can be a potential sign of medical malpractice. For instance, if your doctor immediately recommended a complex surgery when a medication might have sufficed, you could experience further harm from surgical complications.

Did you experience medical malpractice?

If you believe that you or a loved one recently experienced medical malpractice after learning about these 5 warning signs of medical malpractice, an experience an attorney can see you through the next steps.


The attorneys at Perenich, Caulfield, Avril & Noyes represent those involved in car accidents, motorcycle accidents, bicycle accidents, pedestrian accidents, and other types of personal injury matters. Our firm is one of the oldest personal injury law firms in Tampa Bay. There are no attorneys’ fees or costs unless we prevail for you. Call our office 24 hours a day at 727-796-8282 or simply click here to schedule a free case consultation

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