We expect our doctors and other healthcare professionals to work under the accepted standard of care when they’re diagnosing patients. While the majority of those in the healthcare industry treat their job with the utmost respect, unfortunately there are some who may be negligent in their duties. Healthcare professionals who are negligent during diagnostics and misdiagnose their patients could cause them serious injury or illness due to their careless actions.
According to the John Hopkins School of Medicine, diagnosis-related payments were the most frequent out of 25 years of settling medical malpractice. In fact, the study revealed that the payments amounted to $38.8 billion between the years 1990-2010. The reason for this is because misdiagnosed patients undergo unnecessary procedures, treatment, take unneeded medication, and as a result may develop an additional condition or suffer harm as a result.
If you’ve been misdiagnosed or a loved one of yours has died from a misdiagnosis, contact the experienced legal team at PNW Trial Lawyers.
Medical Misdiagnosis Bellingham Lawyer, WA
Were you or a loved one injured or became ill due to the effects of a misdiagnosis? If so, you could be entitled to a monetary award or settlement based on your damages. To learn more, contact the skilled personal injury team at PNW Trial Lawyers. Our office is composed of attorneys with years of experience representing medical malpractice victims and can do the same for you.
Call our office today at (360) 483-5201 or simply submit an online contact form to set up your first consultation. PNW Trial Lawyers has offices in Bellingham and accepts clients throughout the greater Skagit County, Whatcom County, and Snohomish County, Washington area.
- Commonly Misdiagnosed Conditions
- What Could Cause a Misdiagnosis?
- Liability in a Misdiagnosis Case
- Additional Resources
Commonly Misdiagnosed Conditions
A diagnosis is imperative to a person’s health going forward. It’s quite literally the basis of a patient’s treatment plan as all medical care will revolve around what the diagnosis is. That means if a patient is misdiagnosed or isn’t diagnosed in time it could have deadly results. Listed below are some common medical conditions that are often misdiagnosed by professionals.
- Pulmonary Embolism
- Colon Cancer
- Brain Tumors
- Breast Cancer
- Cerebral Palsy
- Stroke/Heart Attack
- Lung Cancer
- Testicular Cancer
- Prostate Cancer
- Pulmonary Embolism
- Pregnancy-Related Complications
- Cervical Cancer
What Could Cause a Misdiagnosis?
Doctors and other healthcare professionals may issue a misdiagnosis for a variety of reasons. However, all cases share the same element of negligence and the professional deviating from their accepted standard of care. The following are some common reasons why a person may receive a misdiagnosis or delayed diagnosis from a doctor or other health care professional.
- Failure to Read Labs/Tests – Specialists, doctors, and all other physicians must utilize various types of labs and tests to diagnose their patients. These types of tests can include X-Rays, PET scans, MRIs, etc. Doctors must take their time when reading these tests and ensure they are not making errors when interpreting the results. This also includes nurses and other hospital/healthcare staff. Patients who receive incorrect or poorly interpreted results could be misdiagnoses and sustain an injury/illness.
- Failure to Follow Up – When conducting tests and labs, doctors and other healthcare professionals must follow up anything that may be an identifier for a medical condition. According to the Agency for Healthcare Research Quality, 44% of all diagnostic errors are due to doctors failing to follow up tests after spotting something concerning. Failing to contact patients with their test results could also be seen as medical malpractice.
- Failure to Identify Symptoms – Doctors and specialists identify health conditions by spotting certain identifying symptoms. Usually, only a specialist or other healthcare professional can spot these signs and determine a health issue is ongoing. So, if a doctor or professional is unable to detect and/or respond to symptoms, they could put their patient at risk of a delayed or misdiagnosis.
Liability in a Misdiagnosis Case
A delayed diagnosis or misdiagnosis could cause serious harm or even illness in a patient. These problems could last a lifetime depending on the circumstances. Thankfully, the State of Washington allows victims of medical malpractice including misdiagnosis to seek compensation by filing legal action against the responsible party.
If your lawsuit is successful, you’ll receive a monetary award based on your economic and non-economic damages. Listed below are some damages you may receive compensation for:
- Medical treatment costs
- Prescription drug costs
- Physical therapy
- Lost wages
- Rehabilitation expenses
- Hospital visit bills
- Nursing home costs
- Handicap house fixtures
- Increased living expenses
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of consortium
- Mental anguish
- Loss of enjoyment of life
John Hopkins Study |Diagnosis Errors – Visit the official website for John Hopkins Medicine to read a publication their reports on diagnostic errors and how they are more costly than any other treatment mistake or medical error. Access the site to read the article, review their statistics, the financial cost of a diagnostic error, and more valuable information.
Washington Medical Malpractice Laws – Visit the official website for the Washington State Legislature to read their collection of State laws including rules that address medical malpractice claims. Access the legislation to learn more about medical malpractice laws, the burden of proof for plaintiffs, informed consent, and other information.
Misdiagnosis Claim Attorneys in Bellingham, WA
If you’ve suffered with the aftermath of a misdiagnosis, there’s no reason you should also struggle financially. Contact the legal team at PNW Trial Lawyers and speak to a seasoned personal injury lawyer today. The experienced and skilled legal team at PNW Trial Lawyers can examine the facts of your case and help you throughout every step of the claims process.
Call PNW Trial Lawyers today at (360) 483-5201 to set up your first consultation in the Bellingham, WA area.