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Misdiagnosis is the most common cause of malpractice claims

On Behalf of | Apr 19, 2019 | Firm News

Whether you or a loved one suffered from the negligence of a medical professional, the long-term effects can be devastating. You may face a long road ahead of challenging recovery measures, considerable pain, emotional consequences, financial turmoil and more.

Two studies recently released have uncovered that misdiagnoses make up the most malpractice claims across the country. According to one study by the Boston malpractice carrier Coverys, 46% of the 1,800 closed malpractice claims from 2013 to 2017 related to a missed or wrong diagnosis. Another study by The Doctors Company revealed that 38% of malpractice claims of the 1,215 claims from 2008 to 2017 related to misdiagnoses.

The dangers of a wrong or missed diagnosis

Whether you were incorrectly diagnosed or doctors failed to diagnose a serious illness, you may experience staggering setbacks, including:

  • Undergoing incorrect treatment. After a wrong diagnosis, you may experience unnecessary or potentially harmful treatments, surgeries or prescriptions.
  • Experiencing emotional trauma. You and your loved ones may be subjected to serious emotional consequences from coping with an incorrect diagnosis.
  • Enduring financial consequences. Multiple hospital visits, surgeries, treatment options, prescriptions and more can become costly.

Both studies revealed that misdiagnoses can often come from primary care physicians or providers. Allegations routinely involve the failure of providers to conduct an adequate assessment of patient symptoms, family history, a thorough physical exam or more.

What to do if you suspect malpractice

After a shocking or devastating diagnosis, you may not immediately question the judgment or opinion of your doctor. However, seeking out a second opinion can be critical either to confirm your condition or avoid unnecessary treatment and other consequences.

When you or another doctor do not immediately discover the misdiagnosis, you may consider taking legal action for the physical, emotional and financial consequences endured from the negligent error. In Washington, victims of medical malpractice must file a lawsuit within three years of when the malpractice was committed or within one year of discovering that you were the victim of malpractice.

During this time period, it can be difficult to understand the extend of what you have suffered and will suffer in the years to come as a result of the negligent actions. Working with an attorney can help to evaluate and pursue what you are due.