Every day, people trust health professionals with their lives. We trust them to give us the right prescriptions and to give us suggestions on how to be healthier people. Sometimes, we even trust them to perform complicated surgeries that we may not even fully understand.
But what happens when a doctor doesn’t even know there is something wrong with the patient? This is frequently what happens in radiology negligence cases. Yet if a radiologist makes diagnostic errors, their patient’s safety, or even their patient’s life, is put at risk.
This article will dive into medical malpractice in the radiology field, how it may happen, and who it may hurt.
What Do Radiologists Do?
Radiologists are medical doctors who use medical imaging, procedures, and other types of tests and scans to help diagnose an individual.
Whenever a patient is injured or becomes ill, their primary care doctor will refer them to a radiologist for further investigation. Radiologists may investigate cardiovascular disease, spinal cord injuries, vascular injuries, and so much more.
A radiologist’s failure could mean that they came up with an incorrect diagnosis or failed to diagnose their patient at all. This can result in serious harm and could lead to a trickle effect as the serious injury goes untreated, there are medication errors, or the next steps in medical care become unnecessary and unhelpful.
A prudent radiologist would never commit medical malpractice, but unfortunately, malpractice lawsuits are common in the field. According to the National Library of Medicine, there are errors in about 4% of radiology reports. This may not seem like much, but from the patient’s perspective, if your radiology report is riddled with errors, it could change your life forever.
What Could Cause Radiology Malpractice?
There are several common types of errors that could result in radiology malpractice. Most cases are due to the radiologist’s making an error in diagnosing, usually by providing an incorrect diagnosis.
Malpractice generally means that the radiologist did not uphold common standards for the care the patient received. Here are some of the common causes that could result in malpractice cases:
Communication Errors: Frequently, radiologic communication problems can occur between the referring physicians or other physicians involved and the radiologist. This is because radiologists don’t work directly with the referring physician or emergency physician outside of providing their diagnosis. The physician may not be able to update them with new information about their patient.
A patient’s primary care physician or referring physician will generally have a much closer relationship with the patient, which will allow them to understand their needs better. If a radiologist fails to communicate well, it could result in a medical malpractice lawsuit.
Missed or Incorrect Diagnoses: In medical malpractice lawsuits, this is a common occurrence for radiologists. They may misunderstand a patient’s injury or simply miss something important, like signs of lung cancer or breast cancer. There could be missed evidence of a problem for a variety of reasons, like a radiologist focusing on the wrong area or going over the results too quickly.
Regardless, the law requires the patient to receive reasonable care. Most radiology malpractice cases are a result of this issue, and if you believe your radiologist incorrectly diagnosed you, you could have grounds for medical malpractice litigation.
Exhausted and Overworked Radiologists: Errors in radiology don’t always have a definite cause or reason, and sometimes a mistake can be attributed to a radiologist not taking the time and care when dealing with a client. In these situations, the radiologists may be tired or overworked, but that does not prevent them from facing radiology malpractice cases.
What Are The Effects of Radiologic Medical Malpractice
If medical malpractice occurs, the patient’s injury may not be treated or diagnosed properly, resulting in further pain or distress for the patient. In a more serious situation, the patient may not receive the necessary treatment and could find their illness or injury worsening. The patient may also have to pay for other interventional procedures or more testing for missed diagnoses to receive the assistance they need.
All medical malpractice cases can result in major issues for the physician. The defendant radiologist will be forced to justify their methods and procedures. If the jury determines the defendant violated the law, it could result in monetary compensation being awarded or the radiologist’s having their license revoked.
It’s always important to think through the effects of filing a malpractice claim, and talking with an attorney can make sure that you understand your case fully.
Contact Our Pittsburgh Medical Negligence Attorneys
Medical malpractice claims are a serious issue, and patient injury should not be taken lightly. If you feel you or someone you know may have been a victim of a radiologist’s failing to do their job properly, then you should consider reaching out to a malpractice attorney.
Medical malpractice laws can be difficult to understand and result in a wronged individual feeling uncertain about filing malpractice claims or medical malpractice suits. However, if you feel you have been wronged by a radiologist, you should consider speaking to our law firm.
At Frischman & Rizza law, we specialize in helping our clients deal with the upsetting results of malpractice. We fight for you to receive the justice and treatment you deserve. We value hearing your story and building a strong attorney client relationship.
You can call us anytime at (412)-291-9377. You can also fill out our contact page to have a lawyer reach out to you. We’ll offer you a practice standards claims survey to see what your medico legal claims may be. We offer free consultations to discuss if your case may be viable and what we can do to make it successful.
Undergoing a poor experience with a radiologist can be stressful and overwhelming, but our law firm will fight for you to get you the justice you deserve.