Misdiagnosis is the most common type of medical error, with an estimated 10 to 20 percent of medical malpractice cases involving a diagnostic error. Moreover, the consequences of misdiagnosis, delayed diagnosis, and other diagnostic errors are often catastrophic. According to a 2009 report, 28 percent of 583 diagnostic mistakes reported anonymously by doctors were life-threatening or had resulted in death or permanent disability. With the potential consequences of misdiagnosis so dire, it is important that patients be their own best advocate and do what they can to prevent misdiagnosis. There are certain things that patient can do in order to minimize the risk of misdiagnosis, such as:
- Getting a second opinion. According to the New York Times, evidence shows that second opinions can lead to significant changes in a patient’s diagnosis or in recommendations for treating a disease, particularly with respect to radiology images and biopsy pathology slides.
- Reviewing your medical records. Recent studies show that both physicians and patients are open to granting patients access to their own records so that patients can stay involved with decisions regarding their health care.
- Asking questions and educating yourself about your condition or diagnosis. The more information that you have about your symptoms, condition, and possible diagnoses, the better equipped you will be to be a proactive participant in the diagnosis process and treatment options.
- Being truthful. It is incredibly important that you provide your doctor with full and complete information regarding your medical conditions, medications you are taking, and your health care history so that he or she has the information needed to make a proper diagnosis.
- Consult with a medical malpractice lawyer. If you suspect a misdiagnosis or delayed diagnosis, you may want to consult with a medical malpractice lawyer. While not all diagnostic errors give rise to a viable medical malpractice claim, a lawyer can help you understand your rights and legal options. If a medical malpractice lawsuit is appropriate, it is important to file the claim within the applicable statute of limitations or you will forego your right to collect money damages.
The Chicago medical malpractice law firm at Steinberg, Goodman & Kalish is committed to helping the victims of medical malpractice, including misdiagnosis and other diagnostic errors, obtain maximum financial recovery. If you are successful in proving liability, you may be entitled to money damages for the following: past and future medical expenses, lost wages, loss of future income, household services, pain and suffering, loss of enjoyment of life, permanent disability, and disfigurement. If you have been the victim of misdiagnosis or other medical error, contact the Chicago medical malpractice lawyers at Steinberg, Goodman & Kalish to schedule a free consultation to learn more about your rights and options. Additional Information:
- Radiology and Medical Malpractice
- Protect Yourself from Misdiagnosis and Other Leading Causes of Medical Error
- Most Common Medical Errors
- The Dangers of Unsterile Surgical Instruments and Other Surgical Errors
Steinberg Goodman & Kalish (www.sgklawyers.com) is dedicated to protecting victims and their families. We handle medical malpractice, product liability, personal injury, wrongful death, auto accidents, professional negligence, birth trauma, and railroad law matters. Contact us at (888) 325-7299 or (312) 445-9084.