Not only are diagnostic errors one of the most prevalent types of medical malpractice, but they're also one of the most frequent reasons for malpractice settlements and financial awards. Medical errors affect an estimated 12 million Americans each year, according to the Society to Improve Diagnosis in Medicine, and can be extremely harmful or even deadly for victims.
Some of the most common diagnosis-related medical errors include:
- Missed diagnosis. The doctor gives a patient a clean bill of health, failing to diagnose a serious illness or medical condition.
- Misdiagnosis. The health care professional makes an incorrect diagnosis, diagnosing the patient with an issue or disease they don't actually have.
- Delayed diagnosis. In a delayed diagnosis, the medical provider correctly diagnoses the patient's illness after an extended delay.
Medical mistakes like these are particularly hazardous, as they can lead to other kinds of errors, as well as poor health outcomes. For example, failing to diagnose a patient with the right condition promptly could allow a disease to progress, expose them to unnecessary or inappropriate drugs or procedures, cause them to require more expensive or risky treatments, or render treatment ineffective altogether.
Although diagnostic errors are both common and concerning, not every medical mistake is considered malpractice. To secure a successful outcome in a medical malpractice case, victims and their attorneys must prove:
- The victim was the provider's patient and thus, owed a duty of care.
- The doctor, nurse, or another medical professional in question didn't provide the accepted standard of treatment, breaching their duty of care to the patient.
- The doctor's negligence caused actual physical, financial, or psychological injuries to the victim.
How an Experienced Georgia Attorney Can Help Your Malpractice Case
If you suffered harm due to a medical professional's diagnostic mistake, you may be entitled to compensation for resulting medical expenses, pain and suffering, and other damages. The skilled attorneys with Van Sant Law can help you understand your legal rights and options. Contact us today to schedule an appointment for a complimentary case consultation.