5 Myths About Diagnostic Errors Debunked
Medical treatment usually begins with the diagnostic process. For example, a person must first be diagnosed with cancer to receive cancer treatment. The diagnostic process is a process that starts with the patient’s individual illness history and ends in a result that can be categorized and involves things such as imaging tests, blood tests, and biopsies. Physicians are trusted to give the proper diagnosis, but the reality is that problems can arise during the diagnostic process. Sometimes, diagnostic errors occur. Diagnostic errors comprise diagnoses that are missed, wrong, or delayed. Indeed, making the correct diagnosis is not an easy job, and sometimes diagnostic errors are unavoidable. However, the truth is that, sometimes, diagnostic errors are preventable.
Unfortunately, there are many myths surrounding diagnostic errors. Some of these myths make it hard to understand the real impact of diagnostic errors, and others make it hard for victims of diagnostic errors to decide whether or not to pursue financial compensation. In this article, we debunk five prevalent myths about diagnostic errors. It is our hope that by the time you finish reading this article, you will have a better understanding of the real impact of diagnostic errors. It is our hope that, by the time you are done reading this article, you will find it easier to decide whether or not to seek compensation from a negligent party who caused you to suffer a diagnostic error that ended up causing you harm.
Myth #1: Diagnostic Errors Rarely Happen
Fact: Diagnostic errors happen in the United States of America more often than you may realize. In fact, according to research, diagnostic errors could be the biggest patient safety and medical malpractice problem in the United States. According to research, diagnostic errors affect over 12 million Americans every year, and this is without considering all the errors that go unreported or undetected.
Since you now know the truth, it is important that you avoid blindly accepting a diagnosis from a medical professional. If you believe that a doctor made a mistake during the diagnostic process, ask questions and seek a second opinion from a different doctor, if necessary.
Myth #2: A Diagnostic Error Cannot Harm a Patient Because They Can Still Get the Right Treatment After a Proper Diagnosis
Fact: This is not necessarily true. For example, when it comes to a terminal illness like cancer, an early diagnosis can help improve a patient’s chances of recovering, and a delayed diagnosis can adversely affect a patient’s chances of recovering. If a person with cancer is misdiagnosed, delays in receiving the proper diagnosis can lead to, among other things;
- the illness spreading to other parts of the body
- standard cancer treatments becoming minimally effective
- limited treatment options
Myth #3: There Is No Way To Prove a Diagnostic Error Occurred
Fact: This is completely false. Proving that a diagnostic error occurred can be a challenge; however, there are several ways to prove a medical professional made a diagnostic error. The following are some of the pieces of evidence that can help you prove a diagnostic error occurred;
- Medical reports
- Diagnostic test results
- Opinions from medical experts
- Witness statements
If you believe you have been a victim of a missed, wrong, or delayed diagnosis, it is vital that you reach out to an experienced medical malpractice attorney as soon as possible. A skilled attorney can assist you in collecting and preserving the evidence you need to prove that a diagnostic error occurred. An attorney can help you seek and get justice.
Myth #4: If a Diagnostic Error Happened a Long Time Ago, You Don’t Have a Case
Fact: Again, this is not necessarily true. The standard statute of limitations on medical malpractice cases in Florida is two years. However, this can be extended to four years in cases where the injury was not discovered immediately. Additionally, medical malpractice cases involving fraud or concealment can be filed even after four years.
If you are worried that too much time has passed since the time a diagnostic error occurred and now, you need to speak to an attorney before concluding that you don’t have a valid case.
Myth #5: Victims of Diagnostic Errors Who File Medical Malpractice Claims Are Looking to Get Rich
Fact: The majority of diagnostic errors victims are not looking to get rich. Instead, they are seeking to be compensated for the damages they have incurred because of no fault of their own. Most victims of diagnostic errors are looking to be compensated for damages such as medical bills, lost wages, diminished earning power, scarring, pain and suffering, and mental distress.
Contact a Fort Myers Personal Injury Attorney
Have you fallen victim to a diagnostic error or any other medical error in Florida? If so, contact our Fort Myers personal injury attorneys at The Law Offices of Marc L. Shapiro to schedule a consultation and discuss your case.