Common Medical Malpractice Cases: Diagnostic Errors

In 1906, well over a century ago, James Powell, Sr. founded a law firm to serve the residents of Northeastern Pennsylvania, mainly the burgeoning towns of Scranton and Wilkes-Barre. Today, Powell Law serves a far greater metropolitan area with offices in Scranton, Stroudsburg, Moscow, and Taylor. With nearly fifty years of experience, James F. Mundy, Esq. is one of Pennsylvania’s most experienced malpractice lawyers and Powell Law’s leading litigator in actions involving medical mistakes, wrongful death, and product liability. Powell Law offers experienced and effective legal representation in personal injury, medical malpractice, product liability, workers’ compensation, disability, and criminal law cases.

When illness or other unfavorable health condition occurs, proper diagnosis lies at the heart of proper treatment. A cure or improvement is impossible without correctly diagnosing an abnormal health condition.

Like anyone else, doctors make mistakes and included in what are usually deviations from the applicable standard of care are diagnostic errors, which commonly occur in every healthcare system.

According to a study released in July of 2019, approximately 34% of medical malpractice claims over a 10-year period that resulted in a patient suffering permanent injury or death were caused by diagnostic errors. See our blog on this study for more details.

The three most common diagnostic errors are:

  • The failure to diagnose occurs when a physician concludes that the patient is not ill.
  • A misdiagnosis occurs when a doctor makes an incorrect diagnosis.
  • A delayed diagnosis occurs when a doctor makes a diagnosis, but only after a significant amount of time has passed.

For a diagnostic error to be actionable in a court of law, the doctor must have been negligent and caused damages to the patient in making an incorrect diagnosis.

Physicians may fail to notice symptoms of a condition different than their final diagnosis, which may, therefore, be incorrect. Doctors may fail to observe established diagnostic procedures, thus causing damages.

When a diagnostic error occurs, as a resulting consequence, a patient’s illness or condition fails to improve. In fact, it typically worsens and may evolve to the point that it causes fatal or irreversible results. Any medical professional who is negligent in providing any type of incorrect diagnosis may be subject to liability for damages.

Attorneys must have the ability and expertise to analyze all legal and technical issues of a medical malpractice case, especially where a diagnostic error may have occurred. If you or a loved one has suffered any type of injury, contact Powell Law at (570) 961-0777. Our decades of experience make us the preferred choice for representation in personal injury and medical malpractice matters in the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre and surrounding areas. Our attorneys, past and present, have represented victims for 113 years. The consultation is FREE, and you don’t pay anything unless we win your case. Call today.

Common Medical Malpractice Cases: Diagnostic Errors

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