Unfortunately, radiologists are not perfect and they can sometimes make mistakes. In fact, according to the American Journal of Roentgenology, approximately four percent of interpretations radiologists make contain errors. While many of these errors are minor ones, others have serious consequences and impact a patient's health and medical prognosis.
If you or a loved one has been harmed as a result of a radiological error, it is important to understand you have legal rights. Medical malpractice laws don't just extent to doctors and surgeons but can also cover radiologists and other healthcare providers. An Atlanta medical malpractice lawyer can help you to determine if you have a viable medical malpractice claim against your radiologist and can assist you in taking legal action to recover monetary damages including compensation for pain and suffering, medical bills, lost wages, emotional distress and other losses.
The Dangers of Radiological Errors
Radiologists are not expected to be perfect or to never ever make a mistake – after all, they are only human. However, they are expected to provide a reasonably skilled and competent level of medical care to patients. When a radiologist breaches his duty by making a careless mistake that no reasonable professional would have made in his position, the radiologist can become liable for the consequences of his error.
The specific consequences of radiological errors is going to vary depending upon the type of error made, how quickly the error was corrected – if at all – and a number of other factors including the patient's general health. However, some of the possible dangers associated with a radiological error include the following:
- A normal result will be interpreted as abnormal. If this occurs, a patient may be misdiagnosed with having a medical problem and may undergo unnecessary treatment.
- An abnormal result will be interpreted as normal. This can result in a patient not being correctly diagnosed and not getting the medical care he/she needs.
- Failure to diagnose when a patient has cancer. Medical imaging is one of the best and only reliable ways to catch cancer early. If a radiologist misses cancer, this can significantly decrease a patient's chance of survival
- Failure to diagnose an aneurysm. This failure, too, can be deadly since prompt treatment is absolutely imperative
- Failure to diagnose when a patient has a bone fracture. A delay in diagnosing the fracture and setting the bone could make it difficult or impossible for the bone ever to set 100 percent correctly. The patient may also experience significant pain as a result of the failure to diagnose.
These are just a few different examples of the types of problems that can develop as a result of radiological errors. Because radiologists read the tests needed to determine what is going on inside a patient's body, the consequences of a radiological error are often severe.
How Atlanta Medical Malpractice Lawyers Can Help When a Radiological Error Occurs
Radiological errors are often result in misdiagnosis or delayed diagnosis. Even a slight delay can make treatment of certain conditions challenging or impossible. Unfortunately, it can be hard sometimes to argue exactly what damage that a patient suffered occurred as a result of the radiological error as compared to the damage that a patient would have suffered anyway as a result of an underlying medical condition.
Determining whether a plaintiff was harmed as a result of the radiological error, and determining the extent of the harm, is thus very important. If a radiologist is found to have breached a legal duty to a patient by providing substandard medical care, the radiologist can be made to pay for his negligence only if the injured plaintiff suffered as a result. You will, therefore, need to prove the extent of the harm caused by the radiological error. An Atlanta medical malpractice lawyer can help you to do this by gathering evidence of what the radiologist did and by presenting expert witnesses and expert testimony to show why the radiologists' failure to do his job caused you harm.
Have You Been The Victim Of Medical Malpractice?
If you or a loved one has been injured due to a medical error you need to speak with a medical malpractice attorney as soon as possible. Please contact us online or call our office directly at 855.GA.INJURY or 404.991.5950 to schedule your free consultation.