Medical Misdiagnosis Injury Lawyers in Austin
According to various studies, diagnostic errors occur in 10-30% of all medical cases. Also, 12% of cancer cases and 20-40% of emergency room cases involve misdiagnosis. A study of Patient Safety Incidents by Health Grades found that failure to diagnose and treat in time was the most common cause of a patient safety incident, with a rate of 155 per 1,000 hospitalized patients. When John Hopkins University School of Medicine researchers examined diagnosis errors in hospital intensive care units (ICU), they described the results as "surprising and alarming."
In a recent ruling in New York, a forty-year-old woman received a $15 million settlement after a doctor misdiagnosed her breast cancer symptoms as a "clogged milk duct." A year later, the woman was able to show that the cancer had spread to her lymph nodes, bloodstream and bones and that she was now in a life-threatening position. When a medical condition is misdiagnosed or when a delayed diagnosis occurs, the results can be catastrophic. A misdiagnosis leads to incorrect treatment, delayed treatment or no treatment at all. This can cause an individual's condition to worsen, or in extreme cases, can result in death.
Commonly Misdiagnosed Conditions
Serious conditions that are often misdiagnosed include: breast, colon, lung and cervical cancer, heart attack, stroke and blood clots, diabetes and meningitis. According to Davenport (2000) the top five malpractice-risk conditions are, in order:
- Myocardial infection
- Breast cancer
- Lung cancer
- Colon cancer
Medical malpractice lawsuits associated with these conditions are almost always related to misdiagnosis or mismanaged diagnostic tests leading to delayed treatment. ICU commonly misdiagnosed conditions include:
- Heart attack
- Pulmonary embolism
- Aspergillosis, a serious fungal infection
While even skillful doctors can misdiagnose, negligence can be proven if a doctor took the wrong steps or failed to take the right steps that a skillful and competent doctor would have taken under similar circumstances.
What does misdiagnosis entail?
Misdiagnosis can involve failure to recognize a malignant tumor (or diagnosing a benign tumor as malignant), failure to screen a medical patient for a condition he/she is at risk for, failure to conduct necessary testing or refer a patient to a specialist, misinterpretation of lab tests, mishandling of lab specimens or failure to listen to a patient.
In order to secure a successful settlement, you must show that a doctor failed to follow reasonably accepted standards. The doctor's failure to follow these standards must be proven to have resulted in injury and that you sustained losses as a result of this misdiagnosis or delayed diagnosis. Damages you can fight for include lost wages, medical expenses, pain and suffering, loss of the enjoyment of life and shortened life span.
When a loved one dies as the result of a physician's failure to diagnose his/her health condition correctly, you can file a wrongful death claim. Because hospitals aren't prone to reveal their negligence, however, in the event of an accusation, they will most likely deny liability.
If your loved one's physician failed to admit them for emergency treatment, failed to diagnose them, failed to consider/diagnose likely complications, failed to follow accepted standards, failed to act upon your loved one's complaints, failed to recognize the most serious diagnosis or failed to respond appropriately to complications and your loved one passed away as a result, you should take action. Hospitals often employ highly-qualified attorneys as a defense against medical malpractice cases- because of this, you need aggressive representation on your side too.
Whether your serious health condition was misdiagnosed or whether a loved one passed away because of a doctor's negligence, you should contact Zinda Law Group today to secure the legal services from a Personal Injury Attorney that you need on your side. When you or your family has been victimized by a doctor's carelessness, you should do everything within your power to fight for justice!