Errors or oversights in radiology readings can be damaging and even fatal. Abnormalities related to cancer or spine fractures can delay critical medical treatment and threaten the recovery and life itself for the affected patient, for example.
Radiologists may make many types of mistakes, including the following:
- Performance Errors: These errors occur when the technician or radiologist collects data from the wrong patient, uses the wrong side of the patient’s body, or uses an incorrect technique.
- Incompetence Errors: This type of error is a result of poor training or lack of education or experience.
- Communication Errors: Communication is a key element in the diagnosis process as well as the treatment plan. Poor or delayed communication can affect the medical care of a patient.
- Perception Errors: Perception errors involve the failure to recognize abnormalities in radiological tests.
- Processing Errors: These are errors in interpretation of the radiology test results. While the radiologist might see the abnormality, he or she may misread the information.
If you’ve suffered delayed treatment or inappropriate care from faulty radiology test results, you might be the victim of medical malpractice. For example, in cancer cases more aggressive—or painful, debilitating—chemotherapy treatment could be the result of an abnormality that previously went unseen or was improperly diagnosed.
Or—in cases of spinal injuries—disability may have been limited or avoided if proper diagnosis was made early in the cycle of medical care.
What Is Necessary to Prove Radiology Malpractice?
Medical malpractice occurs when a doctor or other healthcare professional fails to provide adequate and appropriate care. In other words, when you have been harmed by the negligence or incompetence of a health care provider, you are entitled to compensation for your damages.
It is important to understand that not all radiology errors will translate to medical malpractice. To build a viable malpractice suit, you must prove that your radiologist and/or medical team failed to meet the minimum medical standard of care.
This means that you can prove that you would have received a higher level of care from another reasonable professional. The level of care expected from a radiologist or other specialist is elevated and these highly trained professionals are held to a high standard to provide diagnostic services and medical treatment.
You must also prove that you have endured preventable suffering or harm as the result of the radiology error. A medical malpractice attorney will help you determine what burden of proof you are facing and will help you gather evidence and build your case.
What Damages May I Recover in a Radiology Malpractice Case?
Victims of medical malpractice are often able to recover damages for expenses and consequences including the following:
- Pain and suffering: You may be able to file suit for pain and suffering if you’ve been the victim of malpractice. Discuss how you can prove pain and suffering with your attorney.
- Medical bills: You may be entitled to compensation for any medical bills that resulted from the radiology error.
- Lost wages and/or lost earning potential: If you missed work or are unable to return to work because of your misdiagnosis or delayed treatment, this could be part of your malpractice case. You may be entitled to reimbursement for wages lost (to date) and any that may be lost in the future.
Call Snyder and Wenner, PC for Help in Phoenix
If you believe you were the victim of medical malpractice because of a radiology error in the Phoenix area, give us a call at 602-224-0005 to set up a free consultation to discuss your case with a medical malpractice attorney.
Radiology Error FAQ