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Study Finds Diagnostic Errors are Leading Cause of Medical Malpractice Claims

Legal News GavelNo one wants to be a victim of medical malpractice. While most doctors and medical professionals try their best to make a proper diagnosis, some make errors or miss things that can lead to serious harm. At Arfaa Law Group, we represent victims of medical malpractice, including cases of failures to diagnose or misdiagnoses. With years of experience, our Baltimore misdiagnosis attorneys understand how to protect your rights at every step of the way.

Errors relating to diagnosis were the largest source of medical malpractice claims between 2013 and 2017, according to a recent report published by malpractice service providers Corveys. The study reviewed 10,618 medical malpractice claims over the four-year time span. It found that 33 percent of malpractice claims were related to patient diagnosis, and half of those claims involved poor clinical decisions. Diagnosis-related malpractice claims beat out all other reasons for malpractice claims. While other causes of medical malpractice claims have decreased over the years, diagnosis-related claims have not.

There were many reasons for these types of errors. Approximately 33 percent of diagnosis-related claims took place due to the doctors failing to assess the patient properly, whereas 52 percent of the claims involved mistakes relating to lab testing. Physicians selected the wrong test, inadequately performed the test, or misinterpreted the results. Many times, doctors missed information that was contained in long files. In other cases, a misdiagnosis took place because doctors had too much work and too little time.

It is important to note that misdiagnosis is often an umbrella term for many cases involving different forms of errors in diagnoses, including a missed diagnosis, a wrong diagnosis, and a failure to recognize complications. When a medical professional causes harm to a patient through this type of error, that medical professional can be liable for medical malpractice. Medical malpractice is a legal cause of action that arises when a medical professional deviates from the standards in his or her specialty, thereby injuring or killing the patient. Medical malpractice can also occur by omission, which is a medical professional’s failure to act when there was a duty to do so.

In Maryland, a patient can recover money damages for a variety of losses, including medical expenses, pain and suffering, lost wages, disability, and more. In addition, if the malpractice has caused long-term harm, the plaintiff may also be able to recover compensation for the cost of future care, future pain and suffering, and future lost wages (i.e., what the plaintiff would have recovered if there had been no injury). Every case is different, and the precise amount of compensation you will be entitled to receive will depend on the nature and extent of your injuries.

If you find yourself or a loved one in a situation in which a misdiagnosis or failure to diagnose threatens your health or life, you need to reach out to a seasoned Baltimore misdiagnosis attorney who can help. At Arfaa Law Group, we are committed to holding negligent medical professionals accountable for their conduct and getting our clients the compensation they deserve. Call us today at 410-889-1850 or contact us online.

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