A recent study by researchers at Johns Hopkins University suggests that medical errors are the third leading cause of death in the US, and the statistics behind this estimate are shocking. Over the eight-year period from 2008-2016 that was the focus of the study:
Delays in making a diagnosis or identifying the wrong medical conditions are especially devastating for a patient, as many forms of disease are treatable when properly detected. A skilled Hampton medical malpractice attorney can tell you more about misdiagnosis cases, but an overview may also be useful.
Though they are based upon negligence, medical malpractice claims based upon a diagnosis error are slightly different than other personal injury cases. Therefore, you must show that:
Many mistakes in determining a medical condition may give rise to a claim for medical malpractice based upon a diagnosis error, such as:
There can be challenges in pursuing a medical malpractice claim for misdiagnosis because, on its own, this type of error does not firmly establish element #2 above. It is necessary to measure the physician’s acts or omissions up against what a hypothetical doctor in the same specialty, with the same available information, would do. If the two courses of conduct vary significantly, there may be malpractice.
In addition, there must be a direct link between the diagnosis error and a worsening of your medical condition. For example, the failure or delay in diagnosing cancer could make the otherwise-treatable disease terminal. On the other hand, there may not be liable where your medical condition is still treatable after the error.
If you suffered injuries due to a medical error or misdiagnosis, Mr. Hoen can tell you more about your legal options. Please contact Hampton Injury Law at 757.838.1136 or via the website to set up a free consultation.