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Radiology Malpractice Attorneys in Ohio and Kentucky
Because of radiological testing, diagnosing and treating ailments that once were untreatable is now possible. However, just as in any other area of medicine, mistakes are also possible. A radiologist’s job is to interpret diagnostic images such as x-rays, MRIs, ultrasounds, mammograms, a CT scan, and more. Because the results of these imaging tests are subject to interpretation, radiology is an area of the medical field often susceptible to medical malpractice lawsuits.
A delayed or missed diagnosis may also constitute medical malpractice, depending on the patient’s health issue and whether they lost valuable treatment time or the problem is incurable as a result. Fortunately, you so have options if you are the victim of a radiology mistake. Patients may file radiology medical malpractice claims when severe medical setbacks, serious injuries, or wrongful death occur as a result of mistakes made by a radiologist.
At The Lawrence Firm, PSC, our Kentucky medical malpractice attorneys have experience handling complex cases involving radiological malpractice. We are well-versed in radiological equipment and standard practices and are proven trial advocates who can help you pursue fair and just compensation for your losses. You can reach us online or by phone at (800) 698-4054 to arrange a consultation with an experienced malpractice lawyer from our firm today.
When the radiologist going over their scans gives them a clean bill of health, many patients don’t question it. They’re usually just relieved that the medical provider found nothing wrong with them and take their word for it. However, sometimes the issue doesn’t go away or even becomes worse, and a follow-up scan shows a problem that was there all along that should have been detected in initial scans.
The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine defines diagnostic errors as a missed diagnosis, delayed diagnosis, or incorrect diagnosis resulting from any failure or mistake at any stage in the diagnostic process. Failing to make a proper diagnosis accounts for 40-54% of radiology malpractice lawsuits.
Types of Radiology Malpractice Errors
A variety of radiology errors are possible and can include anything from careless mistakes radiologists make to misinterpreting results to malfunctioning diagnostic equipment and more. Most radiology malpractice cases involve conditions that would have been treatable if caught sooner but have since worsened, leading to permanent patient injury or death.
A common example of a condition worsening due to a delayed diagnosis or misdiagnosis is cancer. Catching signs and symptoms before cancer spreads is absolutely critical. Unnecessary medical treatment is another by-product of radiologic errors. As a result of misdiagnosis, patients may endure unnecessary medical treatments such as surgery, radiation therapy, or other procedures that can lead to worsening conditions or completely new injuries.
The Covington legal team at The Lawrence Firm possesses extensive experience handling radiology error cases and is adept at uncovering the root causes of medical malpractice and subsequently holding the appropriate party liable.
Are Radiology Errors Common?
More than one billion imaging scans are created each year. Radiologists interpret these scan results, and any mistakes made can be catastrophic. Unfortunately, radiology errors are increasingly common, although they don’t receive much attention. In fact, each year, approximately 3-5% of radiologic interpretations rendered contain errors, which equals approximately 40 million diagnostic errors annually.
Causes of Radiology Errors
According to researchers, most malpractice litigation against radiologists stems from poor radiologic communication about diagnostic imaging findings or failure to diagnose a condition. Other causes of radiology medical errors include:
- Perception Errors. A defendant radiologist may be sued after failing to see an issue in the diagnostic imaging (radiologic abnormalities) or failing to diagnose a medical condition which leads to the patient’s injury.
- Communication Errors. Radiologists are not required to communicate with patients. However, they must be able to relay their radiology report to the referring physicians and other affiliated medical professionals. These professionals then share the findings with the patient.
- Knowledge Errors. Suppose a radiologist does not possess the required knowledge or experience to form the correct conclusion. In that case, they may face a medical malpractice lawsuit if another more prudent radiologist could have made an accurate diagnosis with ordinary reasonable care.
- Imaging Errors. These errors can be attributed to limitations surrounding the proper application of the imaging equipment. This might include inadequate systems or equipment, a shortage of staff, or inexperience of the staff.
What Injuries Can Result From Radiology Malpractice?
The most common “misses” in radiology are a missed cancer diagnosis or missed bone fractures. Bone tumors, lung nodules on chest radiographs (lung cancer), colorectal carcinoma on barium enema studies (colon cancer), and breast lesions on mammograms (breast cancer) make up the more commonly missed cancer diagnoses. Commonly missed fractures include the femur, navicular bone in the foot, and cervical spine.
But just how dangerous is the wrong medical diagnosis? Patients may suffer serious injury and even a potentially life-threatening condition due to a radiologist’s failure to correctly read or interpret an image. Proper techniques, radiographic diagnosis, and treatment often rely heavily on a radiologist’s accurate interpretation.
For example, as previously mentioned, doctors must detect cancer early to treat it successfully. When these tests are ordered by a referring physician but misread by a radiologist, the diagnosis inevitably gets delayed. Anyone who knows how cancer works knows that timing is everything, and as such, delayed discovery and treatment may be unsuccessful and potentially lead to death that may have otherwise been preventable.
Further examples of misses by radiologists that may harm patients include failing to spot a bowel obstruction, brain bleed, or other diagnostic errors.
What Damages are Recoverable in Radiology Malpractice Cases?
In medical malpractice suits, non-economic and economic damages may both be available if your Kentucky radiology malpractice attorney is successful in your case. Economic damages include tangible items such as lost wages, loss of earning capacity, expenses for medical care, and loss of household services. Pain and suffering, loss of consortium, and mental anguish are examples of non-economic damages.
Elements of a Radiology Malpractice Lawsuit
A patient cannot receive effective treatment if they don’t receive the correct diagnosis following radiologic examinations. If an improper diagnosis or misdiagnosis causes the patient’s health condition to worsen, they may have grounds for medical malpractice litigation.
Your Ohio radiology malpractice attorney must demonstrate that a physician-patient relationship existed, the radiologist owed a specific standard of care to you, a breach of duty occurred, their failure directly caused your injury, and you suffered actual damages as a result. Proving these points is necessary for successful medical malpractice cases to take place.
Like most malpractice claims, radiology malpractice lawsuits are often difficult to prove because clearly showing the distinction between unavoidable adverse events and incompetence is not an easy task. However, this is not to say such a case is impossible. A settlement may still be reached with careful examination from your Kentucky personal injury attorney.
For your best chance at proving the elements of a radiology malpractice lawsuit, contact a compassionate and skillful radiology malpractice lawyer at The Lawrence Firm today if you believe you suffered harm because of a radiologist’s negligence.
Why Do I Need a Malpractice Lawyer After Radiology Errors?
Generally, the odds of prevailing in a malpractice claim are increased if it can be proven that under all the circumstances, a reasonable radiologist would not have made the same medical error. However, proving this can be rather difficult, especially without the help of a qualified attorney. As a result, the attorney you select to represent you plays a significant role in your case’s success. A lawyer experienced in injury litigation and familiar with the medical profession and malpractice laws in your state is your best chance at reaching an optimal outcome and maximum compensation.
In most successful malpractice cases in the U.S., injured patients receive a settlement for their losses. The rest of the lawsuits go to court, which may either end with the patient receiving a judgment or walking away with nothing. At The Lawrence Firm, our Covington injury lawyers work hard to tie all the evidence together into a solid case so that your outcome, whether achieved through a settlement or trial, is a favorable one.
Did Radiologist Malpractice Cause You Injury? Call The Lawrence Firm Today
At The Lawrence Firm, PSC, we are experienced in helping victims of radiology errors and their families recover the compensation they deserve for their injuries. In fact, we have over 40 years of experience serving clients injured by radiology errors or other forms of medical malpractice throughout Kentucky and Ohio. Rest assured, we know what it takes to bring a strong malpractice case and we put in the hard work and dedication to bolster your claim.
If a radiology error or other act of medical negligence caused injuries to you or a loved one, our Kentucky medical malpractice lawyers are here to protect your rights, guide you through the legal system, and fight to obtain fair compensation on your behalf. We have offices in both Cincinnati, Ohio and Covington, Kentucky, and are ready to meet you at your convenience. You can contact us online or by telephone at (800) 698-4054 to arrange a free consultation and establish a formal attorney client relationship today.
You Pay No Fees Unless We Win!
We are happy to offer a free consultation to evaluate your case. If you hire us as your legal counsel, we will represent you on a contingency-fee basis. You will pay no attorneys’ fees unless we recover financial damages.