Frischman & Rizza

When Radiology Malpractice Is Decided as Human Error

When you think about medical malpractice cases, you probably think of surgeons leaving surgical tools inside a patient or doctors performing the wrong procedure. While those are both examples of medical malpractice, doctors make many other types of mistakes while practicing medicine.

Radiology is a prime example of a sector often characterized by malpractice in healthcare institutions.

An Overview of Radiology Malpractice

Radiology is the diagnostic branch of medicine that interprets imaging results to diagnose illness. Radiologists are medical professionals who specialize in interpreting imaging tests such as X-rays, CT scans, and MRIs.

Radiology is a crucial part of medicine and is one of the most effective methods for diagnosing many diseases. However, when it comes to radiology malpractice cases, no special rules apply when it comes to medical malpractice cases.

The basic rule for any medical malpractice case is that if the doctor made a mistake that directly caused harm to the patient, the doctor could be held liable for damages suffered by the patient. In this case, there are two main types:

  • Negligence: This means that your doctor has not met reasonable standards of care because they did not act with proper caution or competence. This can include failing to follow accepted medical standards or using outdated methods of treatment or diagnosis.
  • Intentional Tort: This means that your doctor acted intentionally to cause harm and was aware of the possible consequences before doing something harmful.

Keep reading to find out what happens if you or a loved one suffers injuries due to negligence on the part of a radiologist, including how a qualified medical malpractice attorney can help you file for compensation.

Filing a Radiology Malpractice Claim

When a medical malpractice lawsuit has been filed against an imaging center, it can be challenging to determine whether the radiologic mistake was human error or not. While many factors may contribute to a malpractice claim, the main factors that need to be examined include:

  • The opinion of the defendant radiologist or other medical professional involved in the case (this might involve assessing the radiology reports)
  • The circumstances surrounding the incident
  • The patient’s condition at the time of diagnosis

Human Error Determination Process

Medical malpractice claims are often complex because of the many factors that play a role in determining whether an error has occurred and, if so, what caused it. What complicates matters even further is that there is no universal process for determining whether an error occurred or not. Each state has its own set of rules regarding medical malpractice determinations.

However, some common principles apply when examining these cases regardless of location. For one, each case must be examined individually based on its facts and circumstances; there is no one-size-fits-all approach when determining whether there was an error or not.

The standard used by courts is reasonable care; if a practice fails to meet this standard, it may be liable for damages. To determine if reasonable care was provided, courts examine several factors, including:

  • The professional’s education and training
  • The radiology report
  • The professional’s experience with similar cases
  • The patient’s condition before treatment
  • The type of treatment provided by the radiology department and any associated risks are discussed.
  • How did the patient respond to treatment?
  • What were other reasonable approaches to treating this condition?

Common Examples of Radiology Medical Malpractice

The following are examples of when radiology malpractice would likely be found:

Diagnostic Errors

Radiologists are trained to analyze medical images and determine what is happening with a patient’s body and how they should be treated. Sometimes, however, they make mistakes in their analysis due to their inexperience or lack of knowledge about certain diseases or conditions — and this can have dire consequences for patients who rely on these doctors’ opinions for treatment plans.

Errors in Radiological Techniques and Procedures

Radiology errors are usually more subtle than other forms of medical negligence, such as surgery or medication errors. However, they can be equally devastating to patients if they go undetected.

Errors may include misdiagnosis of fractures, cancer, or other conditions; failure to diagnose a condition that could have been treated successfully; and even failure to recognize a known disease process.

A radiologist who fails to follow protocols and procedures could be liable for negligence and may be subject to a medical malpractice suit.

Inadequate Communication with Either the Patient or the Referring Physician

This can be as simple as not explaining the risks and benefits of a procedure to the patient or family. A radiologist may also fail to communicate with referring physicians, resulting in an improper diagnosis. Inadequate communication can also lead to missed diagnoses or misdiagnoses, one of the most common types of radiology malpractice lawsuits.

Sometimes, a radiologist may fail to properly communicate an x-ray or CT scan result because they misread the results. For example, if a patient underwent a chest x-ray and was diagnosed with pneumonia by their primary care physician after seeing the results, but the chest x-ray showed evidence of lung cancer, this could be considered medical malpractice.

Seek Professional Legal Help Filing Medical Malpractice Lawsuits

If you think you or someone you love might have suffered further injury during a hospital stay, you may feel confused about where to seek help. You will probably have a lot of questions that need answers quickly.

While it’s not an easy situation to find yourself in by any means, there are people who can ease the burden along the way and ensure your rights are protected at all times.

That’s where the Frischman & Rizza law firm comes in.

We have a team of attorneys who specialize in helping victims of medical malpractice get the compensation they deserve and have years of experience doing so.

We know that there are many hurdles and procedures when seeking compensation for medical malpractice or wrongful death cases—both of which fall under the umbrella of a personal injury lawsuit—and we will work diligently to help you navigate these situations.

We highly prioritize our attorney-client relationship, and that’s why we’re the best at what we do. Call us today at (412) 291-9377 for more information on how we can help you achieve justice.

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