Medical Malpractice Attorneys Fighting to Win for Patients Harmed by Missed or Delayed Diagnosis
In a 2017 study of closed claims, nearly half of all claims of malpractice made against internal medicine practitioners were found to be related to diagnostic errors. If you’ve suffered serious injury or the loss of a loved one due to a doctor’s missed diagnosis, delayed diagnosis, or wrong diagnosis, you may have a valid claim that should be pursued in a medical malpractice lawsuit.
Law firms experienced in medical malpractice cases, like Wallace Wason, PLLC, understand the complexities and difficulties in handling misdiagnosis lawsuits whether it be in Virginia or the surrounding jurisdictions. Cases involving missed or delayed diagnosis are further complicated if the patient dies, leaving a grieving family to try to understand what went wrong and who the responsible party might be.
Of course, death is the most extreme but not the only possible catastrophic consequence of an incorrect or late diagnosis of a serious health condition. Many other types of serious conditions or injuries can result and, if the elements of malpractice can be proven, could be the basis for a malpractice lawsuit.
Malpractice Claims Often Involve High-Severity Injuries
The National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) has ranked the severity of common injuries on its Injury Severity Scale, characterizing injuries in categories including minor, significant, major, and grave.
In the study of malpractice claims involving internists (mentioned above), 70% of those patients who were misdiagnosed had injuries considered “high-severity”2 High-severity injuries are those that are considered both permanent and are rated either significant, major or grave on the NAIC’s scale of severity. Death is the ultimate high-severity injury and needs no further explanation.
- Significant permanent injuries include deafness, loss of one limb, loss of an eye, loss of one kidney or loss of one lung.
- Major permanent injuries are those that involve paraplegia, blindness, loss of two limbs or brain damage.
- Grave permanent conditions include quadriplegia, severe brain damage and conditions requiring lifelong care or carrying a fatal prognosis.
Most Common Missed Diagnoses
Myocardial Infarction, the medical term for a heart attack, was the most commonly overlooked diagnoses, representing 6% of the claims of misdiagnosis in the study. The study further showed that patients’ final diagnoses that were most commonly missed, delayed or wrong included:
- Myocardial Infarction (MI or heart attack) – 6%
- Lung cancer – 5%
- Colorectal cancer – 5%
- Prostate cancer – 3%
- Acute cerebral vascular accident (CVA or stroke) – 3%
- Female breast cancer – 3%
- Pulmonary embolism (PE) – 3%
- Spinal epidural abscess – 2%
- Bacterial pneumonia – 2%.
In addition, more than 200 other conditions were identified as having led to medical malpractice claims. If you or a loved one have suffered a high-severity injury due to missed or delayed diagnosis by a healthcare provider, you are likely already overwhelmed. You may be wondering how to properly evaluate your legal situation. Wallace Wason, PLLC can help with the latter.
Misdiagnosis Malpractice Claim Review
When you contact us for a medical malpractice review, our skilled intake team will first obtain the details of your case in order to determine whether malpractice has occurred. We review medical records and bills, evaluate financial and economic impacts, and work with you to bring those who harmed you or your loved one to account for any malpractice that has occurred.
Give us a call today for a free no-obligation, confidential case evaluation at (703) 638-7717.