Radiology is a specialty that has grown in popularity and for good reasons. Radiologists help diagnose and treat various medical conditions through the use of images.
However, not all specialists are created equal. As with any job, radiology has some risks associated with it. If a radiologist fails to diagnose or misdiagnose a patient’s condition or disease, it can lead to severe consequences.
If a patient is injured due to diagnostic errors in the radiology department, they may hire an experienced medical malpractice suit attorney to file a medical malpractice claim against the doctor and/or the hospital or practice where they received their service.
This article will discuss the potential consequences of losing a radiology medical malpractice lawsuit.
What is Radiology Malpractice?
Medical malpractice is professional negligence by an act or omission by a healthcare provider in which the treatment falls below the accepted standard of practice in the medical community. Medical negligence may cause injury or death to the patient, with most cases involving medical error or patient safety.
Radiology malpractice can be categorized as one type of medical malpractice. It involves a radiologist failing to diagnose an abnormality, such as arrhythmia (abnormal heart rhythm) or a tumor on an x-ray image. You could file medical malpractice claims if this harms the patient and they were not informed that there was a chance the radiation could harm them.
Radiology negligence cases are sometimes complicated. Some defendants in these cases are acquitted because they can prove that they acted within the standard of care. In addition, they can prove that they were not negligent in their actions.
However, this is not always possible if you work in an environment where people expect perfect results every time, such as diagnosing patients with cancer by looking at scans and interpreting them correctly.
What Happens During Medical Malpractice Litigation
When a radiologist is accused of malpractice, the first thing that happens is usually an investigation by the state medical board.
If the board finds enough evidence to warrant a hearing, the radiologist will have to appear before the board to defend themselves. If the board decides that the radiologist is guilty of malpractice, they can issue a reprimand, suspend their license, or revoke it entirely.
As you can imagine, the last option would be devastating for any physician. They may also find the doctor and order them to take remedial courses in areas where they are deficient in knowledge or technique.
The medical malpractice law states that if the plaintiff wins, it should not matter whether he was a professional person. There should be at least 50% negligence found on behalf of the defendant. It also states that if no negligence is found on behalf of the defendant, then he should not pay anything from his pocket.
What Happens After the Medical Malpractice Cases
No one wants to be sued, and no one wants to lose a malpractice lawsuit. But if it does happen, there are certain steps you need to take to protect yourself and your career.
The radiologic malpractice litigation risk lies in the evaluation and reporting phase. If the radiology professional is found negligent in these phases, they may have committed an act that constitutes negligence per se, which can be difficult to defend against.
Here’s what you need to know about the aftermath of losing a radiology malpractice lawsuit:
- As soon as you’re served with the complaint, seek legal counsel from an experienced professional in the field.
- Document all contact with plaintiffs’ counsel.
- Request that plaintiffs provide records for their expert witness for review before trial.
- Work with your legal team to build a defense against the plaintiff’s claims.
- Prepare witnesses to testify on your behalf at trial.
- If a jury awards the plaintiff damages, ensure they do not collect any money until appeals have been exhausted.
When the Radiologist Loses a Lawsuit
The effects can be far-reaching for radiologists who lose their respective radiology malpractice cases. Your license may be at risk, as well as your career and reputation. Here’s what you need to know about the aftermath of losing a radiology malpractice lawsuit.
Impact on Your Career
The extent to which your career will be impacted by losing medical malpractice lawsuits depends on how public and contentious your case was. If you lost to a well-known plaintiff’s attorney or medical malpractice firm, there’s no doubt that people in your field will know about it.
As a result, you’ll likely find yourself blacklisted from jobs within your specialty, and if you want to keep practicing, you’ll have to go into another specialty area.
Hospitals and clinics might not hire you for fear of negative publicity. Even if they hire you, their patients may refuse to see you out of fear for their safety. As a result, your options might be limited to working in a small private practice setting where patients are more trusting.
Effects on Your License
Losing a lawsuit doesn’t automatically mean you lose your license. However, according to the Federation of State Medical Boards (FSMB), most states take any conviction very seriously. Therefore, losing a malpractice suit could lead to disciplinary action from an organization like FSMB—including revoking your medical license.
In addition, you could face fines or reprimands even if you don’t revoke your license. In some cases, even criminal charges might be filed against the doctor.
A radiology malpractice lawsuit can also damage your reputation, particularly if you lose because your patient died. These lawsuits often receive media attention and are covered extensively by local news channels.
Once word gets out, people may avoid seeing you as a way to protect themselves. Depending on the severity of your offense, this could have long-term consequences for your career and livelihood.
So, What Will be the After Effects of Losing the Lawsuit
Though the effects of losing a radiology malpractice lawsuit can be severe, it is essential to remember that every case is different. If you find yourself in this situation, be sure to consult with Frischman & Rizza.
We have a team of experienced attorneys who can help you navigate the legal process and protect your rights. With any luck, you will never have to face such an ordeal; but our attorneys are here for you if you do.
We work tirelessly to provide excellent service and uphold our clients’ best interests. We also stay on top of legislation changes to represent clients from all over the country who might not know what state law dictates regarding healthcare providers, like radiologists.
Call us today at (412) 291-9377 to speak to one of our representatives.