Failure to Make a Timely or Correct Diagnosis
It's an alarming statistic: 12 million Americans are the victims of diagnostic errors each year—that's one in every 20 patients. Of those, more than 100,000 suffer a significant, permanent injury or even death.
There are several types of diagnostic errors:
- Delayed diagnosis – This type of medical malpractice occurs when the correct diagnosis is made, but after a significant delay.
- Wrong diagnosis – Also known as a misdiagnosis, this is when a doctor diagnoses you with the wrong illness.
- Failure to recognize complications – This happens when a doctor makes the correct diagnosis, but fails to warn you about associated complications.
- Failure to diagnose a related or unrelated disease.
Diagnostic error is the most common and most costly type of medical malpractice, and results in death or disability almost twice as often as other medical errors. They also are frequently the leading—or second-leading—cause of medical malpractice claims in the United States.
Statistically, the most prevalent types of diagnostic errors in Pennsylvania involve:
- Failure resulting in deadly metastatic cancer
- Failure to diagnose fractures
- Failure to diagnose and treat pulmonary embolism
- Failure to diagnose Acute Coronary Syndrome
- Failure to diagnose and treat appendicitis
Cancer Diagnosis Errors
The importance of the early detection of cancer can't be overstated—especially when dealing with colon, ovarian and other types of cancers with high fatality rates. The earlier it's discovered, the greater your chances of successfully treating it.
But medical professionals—and the systems they work in—aren't perfect, and mistakes happen. A medical error rises to the level of medical malpractice when your doctor fails to provide the same standard of care that any other doctor in a similar field would under the same circumstances.
You could be entitled to legal compensation if someone you care about died, or your condition or that of a loved one progressed and metastasized because your doctor failed to make a correct or timely cancer diagnosis.
This is especially true if the delayed or incorrect cancer diagnosis forced you to undergo:
- Additional chemotherapy treatments
- More aggressive radiation treatments
- A more severe medication regimen
If you're suffering because of a cancer diagnosis error, don't try to negotiate a settlement by yourself. Medical malpractice cases—specifically those that involve cancer—are highly complex and call for a skilled and experienced lawyer.
Testing-Related Diagnostic Error
Diagnostic errors are sometimes linked to the type of diagnostic testing that doctors order, as well as their results.
Medical malpractice can occur when:
- An inappropriate test was ordered
- An appropriate test was not ordered
- An appropriate test was ordered but its results were applied incorrectly
- An appropriate test was ordered, but there was a delay in the testing process
Hiring a Medical Malpractice Attorney for a Diagnosis Error Case
Malpractice attorneys stand up to the big insurance companies to ensure you get the money you need to pay for your medical bills, lost wages, and more.
There is no time to wait—victims of medical malpractice must adhere to strict deadlines. Call us today for a free, no-obligation case review. Let the medical malpractice lawyers deal with the paperwork and hassles so you can concentrate on what's most important: Getting better.