CHICAGO, IL – A hospital stay can be stressful financially and worry whether you’ll receive the proper treatment. Unfortunately, 21% of American patients report errors in their medical treatment. According to a Johns Hopkins study, medical errors account for the third leading cause of death in the U.S.
If a doctor fails to diagnose or misdiagnoses an existing medical condition, illness or injury that worsens after the failure or misdiagnosis, you may have the right to assert a claim of medical malpractice.
Statistics on medical malpractice claims based on failure to diagnose
In an article in Claims Journal, a recent study found that “inaccurate or delayed diagnoses were cited in 34% of medical malpractice claims where the patient died or was seriously disabled.” Claims involving diagnostic errors also accounted for 28% of all payouts during the study period.
Reasons to sue a hospital
Medical malpractice is the leading reason to sue a hospital. You, the plaintiff, have to prove the health care worker did not act as any reasonably skilled provider with the same level of experience would have in that situation, causing harm. The most common reasons are:
- Failure to diagnose a medical condition: Doctors must follow professional protocol when making a diagnosis; however, doctors sometimes fail to order tests or imaging.
- Failure to treat: Just as missing an important diagnosis, doctors can also overlook treatment possibilities.
- Injury during treatment: Surgical errors, for example, could rupture blood vessels or cause significant bruising resulting in permanent disability or death.
- Failure to document: Documentation errors that lead to over medicating a patient or a wrong diagnosis.
- Medication errors: The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) receives more than 100,000 reports of medication errors annually. Many of these errors occur in bustling hospitals where communication breakdown is frequent.
Who should you sue?
Each case varies; however, depending on your case, you can pursue damages against the hospital, medical professional or both. Under Illinois law, patients and families can sue doctors for failure to diagnose if they can prove:
- The doctor breached his or her duty of care by failing to diagnose the patient’s condition;
- The existence of a duty of care (i.e., a doctor-patient relationship);
- The failure to diagnose cause physical harm (or death) to the patient; and,
- The patient (or patient’s family) suffered financial and non-financial losses as a result of the failure to diagnose.
Proving medical negligence can be extremely complicated. If you or someone you love suffered at the hands of a medical professional, it’s in your best interest to speak with a Chicago medical malpractice lawyer as soon as possible. The knowledgeable attorneys at the Dinizulu Law Group has a proven history of success, even in the most complex claims.