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Misdiagnoses and medical malpractice claims

While most California doctors are highly qualified, misdiagnoses do occur. Such mistakes could cause a patient to suffer from a worsened condition, unnecessary treatment or some other negative result. Receiving an inaccurate medical diagnosis may even warrant seeking legal remedy. In fact, according to two studies issued by malpractice insurers, a significant number of medical malpractice claims are recorded because of a misdiagnosis.

According to a report released by Coverys, 46 percent of 1,800 closed claims filed against physicians between 2013 and 2017 were filed due to a diagnosis. The diagnosis-related claims made up 68 percent of paid indemnity costs. Furthermore, a patient death was involved in 45 percent of the misdiagnosis claims.

In another report issued by The Doctors Company, the figures showed that 38 percent of the claims against physicians who had treated children were related to a misdiagnosis. This was based on an analysis of 1,215 closed claims that were filed between 2008 and 2017. According to the study, wrong, missed or failed diagnoses are caused primarily by inadequate medical assessments.

The National Academy of Medicine determined in 2015 that the third leading cause of fatalities among hospitalized patients was diagnostic error. It also determined that diagnostic errors were the cause of most of the paid medical malpractice claims.

An attorney who practices medical malpractice law may consider the factors of a client's case before recommending the appropriate legal actions to seek. Financial compensation could be pursued on the behalf of a client who received a misdiagnosis that resulted in delayed treatments, an exacerbated medical condition or additional medical expenses. Lawsuits may be filed against multiple negligent parties, including physicians and the medical facilities in which they work.

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Law Offices of Neil M. Howard
717 North Douglas Street
El Segundo, CA 90245

Phone: 424-259-4807
Fax: 310-452-6810
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