Minor mistakes happen in hospitals and medical facilities every day. More serious errors are less common, but they do still occur. Every week, there are major mistakes involved surgeries gone wrong or the improper administration of medicine.
Additionally, there will be hundreds of people every week affected by a doctor who fails to diagnose them correctly. People can’t get effective treatment if they don’t know what is causing their symptoms. Unfortunately, doctors might take shortcuts during diagnostic attempts that lead to failure to recognize serious medical issues, ultimately leading to a patient’s declining health or even their death.
How frequently do physicians fail in their diagnostic responsibilities?
Timely and accurate diagnosis is arguably the single most important function of medical doctors. They have the necessary information to look at someone’s symptoms and eliminate possible causes until they arrive at the true underlying condition. When a physician jumps to conclusions or ignores a patient’s self-reported symptoms, conditions ranging from stroke to cancer may go without a diagnosis.
According to research performed by Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, between 40,000 and 80,000 people die in the United States every year because their doctor fails to diagnose them. Overall, about 12 million people suffer from failed diagnosis or misdiagnosis annually, and roughly one in three of those cases results in injuries or death for the patient.
Some diagnostic failures are clearly negligent
When a medical professional makes a major mistake in the performance of their job, the people affected by that mistake can sometimes file medical malpractice claims. Malpractice insurance claims can sometimes adequately compensate an individual for medical issues arising from inadequate care or the administration of the wrong drug.
Family members who lose a loved one because a doctor didn’t diagnose someone properly may need to look into a wrongful death claim. Typically, surviving dependents will need to show either a wrongful act or negligence to make such a claim in court. Dismissing someone’s symptoms or making rash assumptions about someone’s medical condition could constitute negligence in certain cases.
Evaluating your situation carefully with an experienced attorney can give you an idea of which option for compensation would be the better choice.