A medical misdiagnosis is a breach of trust and professionalism that could lead to severe injury or death. A wrong, delayed, or overlooked diagnosis from a medical professional may become a legal matter under several circumstances. Examples include when the misdiagnosis causes injury, death, or is part of a pattern of ongoing negligence from a trusted healthcare worker.
We at Pierce Skrabanek have compiled the following examples and statistics about medical misdiagnosis, along with a basic explanation of how such cases are proven under medical malpractice law. If you need representation right away, reach out to us at your earliest convenience to discuss your circumstances by calling (832) 690-7000.
A medical misdiagnosis is an inexcusable failure of care. A medical malpractice lawyer can help you recover damages, seek financial support for ongoing treatment, and remove incompetant actors from critical healthcare jobs.
As a form of medical malpractice, misdiagnosis describes any of the following breaches of care:
A classic example of misdiagnosis still used as a teaching case today is Valentino’s Syndrome, which caused the death of Old Hollywood film star Rudolph Valentino at age 31. It’s a situation where a perforated ulcer is easily misdiagnosed as appendicitis. By treating the wrong condition, a patient undergoes unnecessary surgery to remove a perfectly functioning organ, while the real condition continues to fester untreated. The untreated condition can then go on to cause pain, further medical complications, or even death.
Healthcare insurance in the United States is often tied to employment, and many preventative care visits are skipped because they are too expensive for families to afford. When a person finally has the time and the funds to seek medical care, it is vital that the staff is both competent and comprehensive. The statistics unfortunately do not bear that out.
According to research funded by the Society to Improve Diagnosis in Medicine, and conducted by Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, out of 55,000 malpractice claims analyzed:
Commonly misdiagnosed conditions in Houston include chronic illnesses like diabetes and cancer, as well as emergency conditions like pulmonary embolism or appendicitis. Rare and difficult to diagnose conditions like Ehlers-Danlos syndrome, lupus, and fibromyalgia are even more likely to be overlooked.
Rare illnesses are known as “zebra” conditions, so called because doctors are often taught that the simplest explanation for symptoms is usually the correct one. The phrase in medical school is, “When you hear the sound of hooves, think horses, not zebras.”
If you are injured by diagnostic failures, you are not just a statistic to the medical misdiagnosis attorneys at Pierce Skrabanek. Contact a Houston failure to diagnose attorney for fierce advocacy in seeking the resources you need for proper treatment and recovery.
74.1% of serious misdiagnosis claims occurred in three main categories:
Vascular Events (22.8%)
12 million people in the U.S. are impacted by medical misdiagnosis malpractice annually.
1 in 3 misdiagnoses result in severe injury or death.
Women and people of color are 20-30% more likely to be misdiagnosed.
Between 40,000-80,000 people die each year due to complications from misdiagnoses.
Misdiagnosis errors cause 10% of total patient deaths.
A Houston misdiagnosis lawyer proves cases by showing four critical points of fact: a medical worker owed a duty of care to their patient; there was a breach or failure of that duty; injuries resulted from the breach; and those injuries had a substantial cost.
A successful settlement or verdict could help cover:
Another tangible benefit of filing a lawsuit is the change it could make for future patients. Your case could prompt the delicensing of incompentant employees, new hospital policies that help avoid misdiagnosis, or a change in training so that such a grievous error is never made again.
The medical misdiagnosis lawyers at Pierce Skrabanek care about your healthcare—we will help you seek justice under the law for your malpractice injuries.
A hospital or clinic is supposed to be a refuge for the ill and injured. When you arrive at a care center, the expectation is to be listened to, evaluated, and treated by competent professionals. If your condition is dismissed, overlooked, or misdiagnosed, that is extra harm caused by those who swore an oath to “do no harm.”
Medical misdiagnosis is a severe violation of trust that regularly leads to severe injury and death. If you or a loved one believe you have suffered from medical misdiagnosis, it’s vital that you reach out for legal representation right away. Medical malpractice cases carry a statute of limitations in every state that narrows your window of time to seek compensation and justice.
Pierce Skrabanek is a Texas-based personal injury law firm with national reach and years of experience handling medical misdiagnosis claims. We have successfully won and settled countless medical malpractice cases, including those which contained or hinged on medical misdiagnosis. Fill out our online contact form to schedule a free, confidential consultation, or call us at 832-690-7000 to speak with some immediately about your case. We care about your healthcare, and will help you seek justice under the law.
Medical misdiagnosis could come in the form of failing to diagnose any illness, negligently diagnosing one condition as another, or failing to follow up appropriately for known complications or risks.
Slow or delayed care in emergency situations may also be considered malpractice, as well as failing to respond to patient distress or admit for care.
Commonly misdiagnosed conditions include chronic illnesses such as diabetes, cancer, and Celiac disease. Misdiagnosis also regularly occurs with emergency conditions like heart attack, stroke, pulmonary embolism, and appendicitis. Additionally, rare and difficult-to-diagnose diseases like Ehlers-Danlos syndrome, lupus, and fibromyalgia are frequently misdiagnosed.
Additionally, rare and difficult-to-diagnose diseases like Ehlers-Danlos syndrome, lupus, and fibromyalgia are frequently misdiagnosed. Misdiagnosis claims can overlap with other legal issues, such as issues involving medical devices (negligent implant of a device).
An attorney builds a medical malpractice misdiagnosis case by providing evidence that a medical worker (1) owed a duty of care to their patient, (2) failed to perform that duty, and (3) as a result caused an injury. The final step needed to achieve a settlement involves describing the cost of your injury in money spent, time lost, and accounting for future care needs.
A medical misdiagnosis lawsuit could help cover medical bills for past and future treatment. You may also be entitled to compensation for lost wages and employment-related benefits. Your lawyer can then argue for pain and suffering compensation to account for the anguish and stress your misdiagnosis has caused.