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Medical Malpractice Diagnostic Mistakes

I’m Katelyn Holub, an attorney focusing on personal injury law in northwest Indiana.

Welcome to Personal Injury Primer, where we break down the law into simple terms, provide legal tips, and discuss personal injury law topics.

Today’s topic is medical malpractice.

A decade ago, if I told you 1 out of every 20 patients had been misdiagnosed by their treating doctor, you might be shocked at that statistic. But it is accurate. And that number accounted for close to 12 million mistakes that patients had to either accept or challenge in court.

Fast forward to the present, and those statistics have worsened exponentially for patients. Add in the pandemic and the protocols that have been put into place before a patient can enter a building, and you would think mistakes would decrease. But unfortunately, that’s not the case.

In most hospital settings, doctors typically have just 10 minutes with a patient. That’s not enough time to assess a patient, determine what is wrong and provide a treatment course appropriate for their ailment. Often, the doctor is rushed. The patient doesn’t have time to explain their concerns. So the patient accepts what the doctor says and hopes for the best.

That’s not how it should be. Doctors know they need to slow down and spend more time with patients. Yet, they don’t. And over the last 30 years, misdiagnoses were the number one source of malpractice claim payouts.

Here are the top 3 malpractice allegations by percentage…

#1 – 31.8% Failure to Diagnose

#2 – 26.9% Surgical Errors and Mistakes

#3 – 24.5% Medication Errors

Misdiagnosing a patient is the same as failing to diagnose.

Physicians and hospitals rarely admit mistakes. Even in cases that seem clear cut, you can expect a defendant to fight any claim of wrongdoing.

We have successfully handled many medical malpractice claims ranging from birth injuries and brain injuries to cancer diagnosis and nursing home abuse. We also have taken medication dosage injuries and infectious disease claims.

Medical malpractice can apply to nurses, dentists, osteopaths, physical therapy facilities, and others providing health care. The challenges these cases present are varied, and our team will work aggressively to overcome them. We also have experts at our disposal to help get to the truth of what happened. Our experienced injury attorneys are skilled at securing favorable settlements and jury awards if a settlement is impossible.

Negligence by a medical professional could result from an error in diagnosis, treatment, or illness management.

Negligence is based on a failure to follow accepted standards of practice. For example, a hospital may provide improper care in not correctly assessing a fall risk resulting in a patient fall. There may be an error in dispensing medications, or a failure to maintain sanitation, or providing below standard nursing care.

The law involving medical malpractice is designed to protect patients’ rights to compensation if they are injured due to negligence.

But malpractice suits are rarely simple, and they are costly to fight. Sometimes the time and money needed to pursue compensation for an injury that is minor or heals quickly should not be spent.

If you believe you have a medical malpractice claim, it is essential to timely consult with an attorney who can help you determine whether your claim should be pursued.

I hope you found this information helpful. If you are a victim of someone’s carelessness, substandard medical care, a product defect, work injury, or another personal injury, please call (219) 736-9700 with your questions. You can also learn more about us by visiting our website at DavidHolubLaw.com – while there, make sure you request a copy of our book “Fighting for Truth.”