The term "malpractice" refers to a professional's negligence in failing to meet the standards of his/her profession, resulting in loss or damage to the professional's patient or client. Most malpractice cases that involve personal injuries involve claims against physicians but they can also be against a pharmacist, surgeon, hospital, nurse, anesthetist or other medical professional.

There are many types of medical malpractice but they usually arise out of a health care care professionals failure to follow standard procedures, failure to diagnose or treat a medical condition and failure to prevent a birth injury. When a patient dies as a result of negligent medical care, it is a wrongful death case.