Emergency room doctors are trained to work at a fast pace, and they may not always determine the complete extent of car crash injuries while extending medical care. Thus, it’s important to keep in mind that an initial diagnosis may not always be complete. If you accept a settlement amount in this case, you may not receive the full amount to which you could be entitled.
Catastrophic injuries after a car accident can include head injuries and spinal cord injuries. However, not all types of injuries are immediately evident. Some individuals may also experience post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) or depression and require counseling. Ultimately, a misdiagnosis can easily lay an adverse impact on your car accident claim.
What is Misdiagnosis?
Misdiagnosis refers to when a healthcare professional diagnoses a patient with the wrong medical condition. Unfortunately, when a patient receives incorrect or untimely treatment due to misdiagnosis, it can be dangerous or even deadly.
Some examples of medical misdiagnosis include when a doctor gives a nursing mother with breast cancer the wrong antibiotics, or when a healthcare professional diagnoses a stroke when the patient only has a migraine condition. In other misdiagnosis cases, elderly patients may be wrongly diagnosed with heart attack when they simply have an indigestion problem.
No matter the specifics of your hospital misdiagnosis, it is recommended to retain a Philadelphia medical malpractice lawyer if you have faced this type of challenge.
What Is The Meaning Of Delayed Diagnosis In Medical Negligence?
A delayed diagnosis is an event in which a healthcare professional does not diagnose a patient’s medical condition or ailment in a timely manner. This can result in various disabilities and a worsening of their condition. However, the delayed diagnosis does not include the event in which a patient does not seek any medical care.
Delayed diagnosis examples include when a doctor notices an irregular level of blood cells but does not suggest any further tests. Or, a doctor may notice some irregular symptoms but does not inform the patient. A patient’s tests may even go missing, in which case doctors can become confused about how to treat the patient.
Misdiagnosis and delayed diagnosis often contribute to the worsening of a patient’s condition. When a doctor makes a mistake in diagnosis, it is even possible for a patient to die if they don’t receive timely treatment. While misdiagnosis is considered medical malpractice, other factors come into play when determining whether a patient can file a misdiagnosis lawsuit.
Common Types Of Errors In Diagnosis
There is more than one way a doctor can make a mistake when diagnosing a patient. For example, a doctor could miss the diagnosis entirely and tell the patient that they are healthy, or they could tell the patient that they have a condition that they do not.
It’s also possible for a patient to get a correct diagnosis, but not know the severity of the condition or its complications. Doctors may also diagnose a patient with a disease, yet fail to diagnose other conditions that are also present.
Following are some common types of errors in diagnosis:
- Delayed diagnosis
- Delay in diagnosis of an unrelated disease
- Failure to diagnose a related disease
- Surgical malpractice, such as eye surgery malpractice
- Failure to recognize complications of a condition
- Missed diagnosis
- Incorrect diagnosis
The conditions that can worsen with delayed diagnosis or misdiagnosis in healthcare are many. They include cancer, infections, cardiovascular disease, and pediatric disease. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), up to 7 million children could be dying each year due to diagnostic errors.
Some misdiagnosis statistics suggest that more than 12 million people are experiencing medical negligence and hospital malpractice. This data is provided by the US Department of Veterans Affairs. Some of the common conditions that result in claims for children are meningitis, sepsis, malignancy, gastroenteritis, and appendicitis.
Alarming Misdiagnosis Statistics
In the United States, approximately 12 million people are affected by wrongful diagnosis or negligent diagnosis every year. On average, between 40,000 to 80,000 people die every year due to misdiagnosis. About 20 to 30% of women and minorities are likely to be misdiagnosed at some point.
The CDC reports that medical negligence is not considered a factor in death certificates issued by physicians, coroners, funeral directors, or hospitals.
Factors That Contribute To Diagnostic Error
|Issues contributing to error
|Access to high-quality primary care
|Limited access owing to factors such as pre-literacy, travel constraints,
and/or lack of funds
|Poor teamwork and lack of feedback when errors occur
|Lack of sharing of medical details
|Diagnostic test availability
|Limited scope and quality in diagnostic tests
|Delay in results or documentation of health updates
|Limitations in follow-up minimize the ability to diagnose impressions
|Availability of health information resources
|Internet access is often not prevalent in remote areas, limiting the availability of health information
What Legal Options Are Available After A Misdiagnosis?
Misdiagnosis cases can result in illness, injury, severe health complications, and even wrongful death. If a misdiagnosis results in injury or harm to a patient, they can file a medical malpractice lawsuit to try and recover damages.
If a patient dies after medical negligence, the family members can file a wrongful death lawsuit. Possible damages include loss of wages, medical bills, pain and suffering. In a wrongful death lawsuit, a person or family can claim emotional anguish, loss of support for children, loss of consortium, and more.
For any case, but especially for a malpractice or wrongful death case, it’s vital to meet the case deadlines. File the lawsuit within the statute of limitations of your state and be sure to consult with a knowledgeable injury attorney.
In need of legal guidance after a car accident? Contact an experienced car accident lawyer to protect your rights and seek rightful compensation.