Radiologists Among Most Sued Medical Professionals, Study Says

A correct and timely diagnosis often depends on the accurate and timely interpretation of radiology reports. Unfortunately, this does not always happen. If you have been injured due to a radiology error, we may be able to help. At Arfaa Law Group, our Baltimore medical malpractice attorneys can investigate every aspect of your case and help you understand your legal rights and options accordingly.Radiologists are involved in 15 percent of diagnosis-related medical malpractice lawsuits, second only to those involving general medicine medical professionals, according to a new report produced by Boston-based medical professional liability insurer Coverys. The report analyzed more than 10,000 claims, identifying a total of 595 radiology-related malpractice claims from 2013 to 2017. The data show that 80 percent of all diagnosis-related claims stem from the misinterpretation of clinical tests. In addition, 80 percent of missed diagnosis lawsuits in radiology involve either permanent injury or death to the patient.

Radiologists play a critical role in correctly and accurately diagnosing patients. Among those radiology claims alleging diagnostic failure, cancer misdiagnoses were the most common, according to the report, with breast, lung, pancreatic, and ovarian cancers being the most prevalent.

In response to these findings, the report suggested a series of risk management steps for radiology professionals that would potentially reduce errors. Some of these suggestions included standardizing treatment protocols, developing report templates, using clear language, implementing checklists, and more.

If you have suffered harm due to a radiologist’s error, you may be able to recover compensation by filing a medical malpractice claim against that radiologist. A medical malpractice lawsuit is appropriate when you can establish that the at-fault party’s conduct fell below the standard of care, resulting in your damages. The standard of care, in this context, refers to the level of care that a reasonably competent radiologist would have used under the same or similar circumstances. To win a negligence case, you must establish the following:  i) the radiologist owed you a duty of care; ii) the radiologist breached this duty of care; and iii) the radiologist’s breach was a direct cause of your harm.

A failure to diagnose a medical condition often means a delay in treatment, and a delay in treatment often means the patient suffers needlessly. In other cases, the condition worsens and becomes more complicated and expensive to treat. In the most severe cases, a failure to detect a condition leads to the patient’s death. Each of these effects can be extremely difficult for the patient and his or her family. Fortunately, Maryland law allows victims of malpractice to recover damages such as medical bills, rehabilitation costs, lost wages, pain and suffering, and any other compensation needed to deal with the malpractice.

Radiology errors can have life-altering, even life-threatening consequences for a patient. If you or a loved one has been injured due to a radiologist’s negligence, our seasoned Baltimore radiology malpractice attorneys can help you pursue the compensation you deserve for your harm. Regardless of the complexity of your case, we will be able to guide you throughout the legal process. For a free case evaluation, feel free to call 410-889-1850 or contact us online.

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