Patients who seek medical attention expect their doctors and medical professionals to know how to help. More times than not, a doctor can usually determine what’s ailing you and prescribe a treatment plan. Unfortunately, doctors are not infallible. They can make mistakes, like misdiagnosis or failure to diagnose.
A John Hopkins study estimated that more than 100,000 Americans are potentially the victim of inaccurate or delayed diagnosis each year, with consequences ranging from disability to death.
Research conducted by a Johns Hopkins team discovered that there are three common categories of diseases that can lead to life-threatening results when a doctor fails to provide a proper diagnosis.
Nearly 75 percent of all harm caused by diagnostic errors occurs in patients who have:
While doctors can and should be trusted in the event of a medical emergency or illness, it’s important to remember that they are not immune from making mistakes. They are also held to a higher standard of care than professionals in many other industries since negligence or mistakes on their part can have such drastic consequences for their patients.
If you are medically able, do your best to help yourself and your medical team as you navigate through an injury or illness together. If you are unable to speak for yourself, always have a trusted friend or family member by your side.
Doctors can’t be held accountable if you are injured as a result of withheld information. For example, you may have difficulty filing a claim if you failed to disclose your use of an illicit substance that reacts poorly with a drug your doctor prescribed. The same is true for drug allergies. Be transparent with your doctors to avoid drug interactions or allergic reactions.
The strict standard of care to which doctors must adhere doesn’t necessarily make it easier to hold them liable for poor medical outcomes. As with all personal injury cases, it’s up to the plaintiff and their legal team to prove the person who is responsible for their injury was negligent, which means you’ll need to work with other medical professionals on your case.
Doctors are covered by medical malpractice insurers with deep pockets. They will put up a fight regardless of the doctor’s culpability or negligence. Working with a legal team who understands medical malpractice law may help you reach an advantageous outcome.