Diagnostic Errors Are the Leading Cause of Medical Malpractice Claims
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A recent study found that diagnostic errors were the most common reason for medical malpractice claims from 2013 to 2017. The survey revealed that 33 percent of the medical malpractice claims filed were based on errors related to the diagnosis. Over one-half of these cases involve poor clinical decisions by health care providers. A little over one-third of the cases resulted in the death of a patient, and more than one-third of the cases occurred in outpatient settings. Bad communication and poor decisions lead to awful outcomes.
When a health care provider fails to diagnose a condition correctly, the patient suffers. Our Tennessee medical malpractice attorney helps individuals seek compensation for their injuries from a negligent healthcare provider and from their insurance company.
Delayed Diagnosis And Misdiagnosis Lead To Malpractice Claims
Diagnostic errors are common factors in a medical malpractice claim. There are several ways in which diagnostic errors can cause a patient to suffer harm or develop life-threatening conditions.
Failing to order diagnostic tests is one of the errors that can lead to injuries and death for patients. When a doctor fails to perform necessary diagnostic tests, this can result in a misdiagnosis or a delayed diagnosis. With a misdiagnosis, a doctor treats the patent for an illness that the patient does not have, which allows the true illness to become much worse. By the time the doctor would realize his or her error, the patient could be suffering from irreparable harm.
The same is true with a delayed diagnosis. The doctor takes an unreasonable amount of time to determine the correct diagnosis for the patient. The doctor could fail to perform a diagnostic test that could have revealed the condition, or the doctor may have ignored the signs and symptoms of a disease or condition. Because the doctor failed to diagnose a condition within a reasonable time, the patient does not receive proper and timely medical care. Lack of prompt medical treatment can result in permanent injury or death. By then, it is too late.
Doctors should consult screening guides and standardized diagnostic procedures when treating a patient. Failing to adhere to the acceptable standard of medical care could result in a medical malpractice claim.
Proving Medical Malpractice for Diagnostic Errors
Proving a doctor or healthcare provider is guilty of medical malpractice for a diagnostic error can be difficult. We must prove that there was a diagnostic error, either through failing to order diagnostic tests, a misdiagnosis, or a delayed diagnosis. Once we prove that there was a diagnostic error, we must also prove that the error caused an additional injury or harm that could have been avoided. In other words, there must be negligence that changed the outcome for the worse.
Linking the injury to the diagnostic error requires the assistance of medical experts. Medical experts review the case to determine the error and whether that error caused the injury. Once a link is established, we must prove that the doctor’s actions or inactions did not meet the accepted standard of care given the facts and circumstances of the case. Medical experts also need to determine the standard of care for a particular case.
Contact A Tennessee Medical Malpractice Attorney For Help
If you believe that you have been injured because of a diagnostic error, you need to consult a Tennessee medical malpractice attorney immediately. The time to file a medical malpractice claim is restricted by law. Acting quickly ensures your attorney has sufficient time to investigate the matter and consult medical experts before filing a claim. Contact the personal injury attorneys at Cummings Law today.