Errors in diagnosis by doctors and nurses are a very common type of medical malpractice. In fact, according to a study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine, over half of all medical malpractice claims are due to delays or errors in diagnosis. These errors can occur not only in hospitals but also in doctor’s offices and nursing homes. The result of a diagnostic error means the patient receives the wrong treatment and/or has a negative reaction to certain medications. When this happens, it is important to consult with an experienced Chicago diagnostic errors lawyer to understand your rights and explore every legal avenue for securing just compensation.
Common Errors in Diagnosis
There are a number of reasons why diagnostic errors occur. These include:
- Failure to Order the Right Tests: There are times, unfortunately, when financial considerations seem to take precedence over the health of the patient. This can lead to doctors making diagnosis without doing a thorough examination of the patient. Some tests are quite costly and time consuming, and doctors sometimes decide they are not needed to properly diagnose the patient.
- Failure to Perform Regular Physicals or Screenings: There are patients that require frequent physicals or screenings to ensure that their condition is being effectively treated or that a certain condition is being prevented. When these screenings are not conducted as often as they should be, things can get missed or conditions can advance to a point where it becomes too late to reverse.
- Ignoring or Misinterpreting Test Results: Sometimes, health care professionals misread test results and use this misinterpretation as a basis for an error in diagnosis. Examples of this scenario include misreading a cancerous tumor as benign and failing to take timely steps to prevent the spread of the cancer.
- Failure to Recognize Symptoms of an Illness or Condition: Doctors sometimes ascribe patient symptoms to a different condition than what they really have. This can lead to using improper treatments that often worsen their condition rather than help it.
When diagnosing your medical condition, healthcare professionals are required to act in a reasonably careful manner, and if they fail to do so, they are negligent. If your medical provider was negligent, you can be compensated if that error causes you to lose treatment options, prevents you from fully recovering or simply diminishes the likelihood that you will recover.
If you think your healthcare professional made a mistake in diagnosing your condition, the first thing you should do is contact an experienced Chicago diagnostics error attorney. At Hurley McKenna & Mertz, P.C., our attorneys work closely with physicians and other healthcare professionals to help you get answers and determine your rights. Call us today at 312-553-4900 for a free, no obligation consultation.
A Sample of Our Successes
- $9,800,000 – Settlement for child that lost her hearing as the result of a failure to diagnose meningitis.
- $5,300,000 – Settlement in Du Page County for the wrongful death of a 23 year old wife and mother where the hospital failed to diagnose and treat stroke in a timely way.
- $3,000,000 – Partial settlement for the wrongful birth of a second child with Angelman’s syndrome where the responsible doctors failed to notify the parents that they carried the genetic marker for the disease. This case resulted in a favorable change in Illinois law where parents are now able to recover damages for emotional distress in wrongful birth cases.
- $2,000,000 – Settlement for the death of a 60 year old man from an undiagnosed ulcer.
- $1,710,000 – Verdict for 29 year old man that lost the use of his left arm due to failure to diagnose compartment syndrome.
- $1,000,000 – Settlement for the wrongful death of a 38 year old man resulting from medical negligence in failing to diagnose a defective heart valve.
- $1,000,000 – Verdict where medical clinic failed to advise a 70 year old man of the fact that cancer was apparent on his chest x-ray. The man died after six months of suffering from untreated lung cancer.
- $900,000 – Settlement for wrongful death of a 68 year old man who died because his doctor failed to diagnose and treat endocarditis.
- $500,000 – Settlement for a 66 year old woman whose breast cancer diagnosis was delayed for thirteen months.
- $500,000 – Settlement for a 65 year old man for medical negligence in failing to diagnose and treat a stroke.