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Medical malpractice lawsuits arise from errors in diagnoses

When New York residents and others elsewhere around the country seek medical services, they trust that the training and expertise of the physicians will result in a proper diagnosis of the problem being experienced. Yet, studies show that misdiagnoses are common in the medical field. In fact, for the past five years, the significant number of medical malpractice claims were related to errors in diagnoses.

Claims related to errors in diagnoses topped the list of reasons for malpractice cases, followed by surgical or procedural claims and medical management claims. According to a malpractice service provider, several causes of lawsuits have decreased. However, claims involving diagnoses have not experienced a decline.

Many experts attribute some malpractice cases to a doctor's failure to conduct a thorough evaluation of a patient. Some cases show that a family history was not obtained. Lab testing errors were also a common factor, with the wrong tests being run, tests not properly performed or an incorrect reading of the results. A significant number of the claims were against radiologists who provide reports for the physicians.

Errors can occur when doctors are overworked or have complex, lengthy reports to read. Advocates suggest using a team approach where doctors review and discuss diagnoses and treatment methods and get additional opinions. Having more people involved can hopefully minimize errors in diagnoses.

When someone is injured because a doctor or other healthcare professional made an error or did not perform duties as expected, the decision may be made to file a medical malpractice lawsuit. A New York injury attorney can be of valuable assistance throughout the process. A trusted lawyer will seek an award that could help clients get their lives back to normal as soon as possible.

Source: modernhealthcare.com, "Diagnostic errors are largest contributor to medical malpractice claims", Maria Castellucci, March 13, 2018

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