Medical malpractice is an extremely common occurrence – particularly in California, which has the largest population of any state in the country. These types of claims occur any time there is an instance in which a medical professional either fails to provide proper care or administers improper care, leading to damage, injury, or worsened conditions as a result. While malpractice can occur in any number of different medical situations, there are general types of cases that tend to be the most common.

What Is Medical Malpractice?

First, in order to establish that medical malpractice has occurred, several other elements need to be proven:

  • Duty of Care. Before you can prove that a medical professional failed to provide proper care, you must first establish that the professional owed you a duty of care. This is usually straightforward as long as a doctor-patient relationship has been formed.
  • Breach of Duty. Once you’ve established that a medical professional owed you a duty of care, you must then demonstrate that they breached that duty of care by either failing to administer the proper care that another medical professional would reasonably provide in their place or that they administered improper care, either through negligence or error.
  • Causation and Damages. Lastly, for medical malpractice to have occurred, you must prove that the breach in care directly caused or led to damages that would not have otherwise arisen had it not been for the negligence or erroneous act on the part of the medical professional.

Once you have gathered the proper evidence to demonstrate damages caused by a breach of care by a medical professional who owed you a duty of care, you are ready to proceed with a medical malpractice claim.

What Is the Most Common Medical Malpractice Claim in California?

Across all medical malpractice claims made in California, the most common type of case falls under diagnosis errors. When you attend to a doctor, you are relying on their medical knowledge to provide answers to your problems associated with your health and physical condition. It is imperative that the information they provide you and the conclusions they come to are accurate and thorough. Medical professionals fail to provide you with the care they are required to provide when they either fail to recognize a present condition or misdiagnose a condition as something other than what is present.

It is important to note that not all cases of failing to recognize a condition are the result of malpractice. Many conditions are extremely difficult to diagnose due to their complexity, similarities to other conditions, or rarity. However, if a condition could have been reasonably recognized and would have been properly diagnosed by any other medical professional under the same circumstances, then malpractice has probably occurred. This would also be the case if failure to recognize symptoms through proper examination led to an otherwise avoidable delay in diagnosis.

Similarly, if a diagnosis has been made, but the diagnosis does not match the actual condition, then there is a significant possibility that further damage or medical issues will result. Once again, there must be an understanding that the condition would have been properly assessed by any other medical professional in the same field. Misdiagnosis can lead to potentially severe issues for the patient, such as inappropriate treatment, improper medication, unnecessary medical bills, and neglect to treat any other condition that may actually be present.

How Do I Make a Medical Malpractice Claim in California?

If you believe you have received improper care as the result of negligence or errors in medical treatment, your first step is to contact a San Diego, CA, Medical Malpractice Attorney. An experienced medical malpractice attorney can help walk you through all the necessary steps to filing a claim, including gathering strong evidence, negotiating settlements, and handling any required litigation.


Q: What Are Three of the Most Common Medical Malpractice Claims?

A: Most medical malpractice claims will fall under misdiagnosis, failure to properly treat, and surgical errors. Most commonly, some kind of failure to properly recognize a medical condition or its related symptoms, either by rendering a false diagnosis or by causing a delay in reaching a correct diagnosis, leads to a malpractice claim. Failing to administer appropriate medical intervention or care or causing an error during a surgery that leads to further issues are the two next most common claims.

Q: Which Element of Malpractice Is Hardest to Prove?

A: To make a medical malpractice claim, you must establish three elements: duty of care, a breach of that duty, and damages caused by the breach. It is relatively easy to establish that a medical professional has a duty of care to you as a patient. However, proving causation that demonstrates that a breach in that duty of care directly resulted in damages that were otherwise avoidable can be the hardest to prove.

Q: What Is the Most Important Type of Evidence in a Medical Malpractice Case?

A: Depending on your specific circumstances, several types of evidence will be crucial, including expert testimony and statements by witnesses. However, medical records are the most important type of evidence for establishing medical malpractice. Medical records do the most detailed job of proving a standard of care, revealing pertinent patient condition information, and establishing a paper trail with a timeline of medical care, diagnosis, and treatment. It is crucial to keep a copy of all related records for your case.

Q: What Are the Top 10 Medical Errors?

A: Medical malpractice cases cover a wide range of errors made by those with a duty of care to provide proper medical treatment. The most common errors are misdiagnosis, delayed diagnosis, failure to properly treat, surgical mistakes, incorrect medication prescription or administration, failing to properly administer anesthesia, injuries caused during births to the child or the mother, equipment malfunction, infection/illness acquired at the hospital, and poor communication between hospital staff that lead to further errors.

You Deserve to Seek Compensation With the Help of a Skilled Attorney

Everyone in California should be able to seek necessary medical attention and have a reasonable expectation they will be properly cared for and provided with appropriate information and diagnosis. Any medical professional or organization that fails to do so should be held responsible. Don’t let any cases of malpractice go unchecked. The more that medical professionals are held accountable, the less common these types of cases will continue to be. At Sigelman & Associates, we have extensive experience with medical malpractice cases and can help ensure you get what you deserve. Contact us today to learn more about working with one of our accomplished lawyers.