According to reporting in WFMJ.com, misdiagnoses and wrong diagnoses constitute the most significant reasons behind jury payouts in malpractice claims. This results from a study in which researchers took a look at 25 year’s worth of malpractice claims. In total, the number of claims looked at for the study was in excess of 350,000.
The single largest category of payouts – which constitute 35% of all payouts – was misdiagnoses and diagnostic errors. These also happened to be the most common causes behind claims that allege that somebody died or was permanently disabled due to medical malpractice. In addition to these findings, the researchers were able to assess that there are approximately 160,000 cases each year that allege some sort of misdiagnosis.
What Is Missed Diagnosis?
Whenever one is dealing with a term such as “missed diagnosis”, some clarification is likely in order. There are circumstances under which a physician may miss a diagnosis where malpractice was not an issue. For example, if the patient didn’t relate all of their symptoms and, therefore, a physician didn’t order the types of tests that would’ve revealed the condition, it’s unlikely that the physician is really to blame. There are also conditions that sometimes take quite a while to accurately diagnose, and that doesn’t necessarily mean that a physician misdiagnosed someone.
Misdiagnoses are oftentimes rather obvious in retrospect. For example, a patient may end up receiving treatment for pneumonia when they actually have a tumor in their lungs that wasn’t diagnosed properly. Somebody who complains of the symptoms of diabetes but who is never tested for that condition and who suffers a serious disability or who actually dies due to it would be another example of somebody who suffered because of misdiagnosis.
Dallas medical malpractice lawyers can help people who aren’t sure whether or not a diagnosis their doctor failed to make was missed because of negligence or simply because medicine is not perfect. In cases where there was negligence at play, it may be possible to pursue a lawsuit that could win substantial compensation for the parties affected. Speaking to a medical malpractice lawyer is best done as soon as possible, as there are limitations on how long a patient has to sue after the incident and because there is a great deal of work that needs to go into putting together a lawsuit and getting your opportunity to have your case heard in court.