Why are medical mistakes the third leading cause of death in the United States?
How is that possible in a country as advanced as ours?
When we go to a doctor, whether in a hospital setting, a “minute clinic,” or a regular doctor’s office, we expect a high quality of care. We want our doctors to perform the necessary tests and spend enough time with us to figure out what is going on.
The last thing we expect is for a doctor to completely miss a medical emergency or chronic condition that we may be experiencing. When that happens because of their negligence, you may need a failure to diagnose attorney in Philadelphia. You can count on The Weitz Firm to work for you, recovering the compensation you deserve.
When we began researching for this article, we found that, according to Johns Hopkins researchers, diagnostic errors accounted for the largest fraction of medical malpractice claims. The authors of the study said, “This is more evidence that diagnostic errors could easily be the biggest patient safety and medical malpractice problem in the United States.
Diagnostic errors can be defined as a diagnosis that is completely missed, wrong, or delayed and is subsequently detected by a later definitive test. This can lead to a delay in treatment until a person is in worse condition.
The study found that more diagnostic errors happened in outpatient care as opposed to inpatient care, at 68.8 percent versus 31.2 percent but the same study found that inpatient errors tended to be more lethal.
Many of these diagnosis errors cause severe harm or death to patients. Others are more minor but lead to costly patient inconvenience and unnecessary suffering.
These errors often happen because doctors are overworked and busy. This can lead to them being rushed, particularly in emergency room settings. If that happens, they may fail to perform necessary tests as indicated by patient symptoms. Overworked doctors can also be fatigued, leading them to miss key indicators of a patient’s condition.
While we realize that doctors rarely intentionally cause their patients harm, even unintentional errors are rooted in carelessness and negligence and they need to be held accountable.
It is crucial for anybody who has been harmed due to the careless or negligent actions of a medical professional to understand that they have a limited amount of time to file a lawsuit in these cases. In general, the Pennsylvania medical malpractice statute of limitations is two years from the date that the alleged mistake occurred. However, there are various exceptions to this two-year time frame.
The medical malpractice statute of limitations “clock” can be paused (or tolled) until the injury victim actually knows or should have reasonably known that they suffered an injury or illness caused by a medical error.
No medical malpractice claims can be filed more than seven years from the date how much the underlying medical mistake occurred, regardless of when the injury victim discovers they have been harmed due to a medical error. The one exception to this overall seven-year timeframe is a case in which a foreign object was left inside of a person.
Under Pennsylvania law, a medical malpractice victim or their attorney has to file a signed “certificate of merit,” which states that an “appropriate licensed professional” has examined the facts of the case and believes that there is a reasonable probability that the actions of the allegedly negligent medical provider fell outside of the acceptable professional medical standards (231 Pennsylvania Code section 1042.3).
There may be various types of compensation available to victims who have sustained harm after a medical professional failed to diagnose them properly in Philadelphia. In general, attorneys will strive to recover both economic and non-economic damages on behalf of their clients. This can include, but is not limited to, the following:
Pennsylvania currently has no damage caps (limitations) on how much compensation a medical malpractice victim can recover, including for any type of pain and suffering damages. The total amount of compensation awarded for these cases will vary depending on the facts and circumstances surrounding each particular incident of a failure to diagnose.
We know this is a tough thing to go through. The last thing you expect when you go to a doctor is to find out you have a condition that should have been diagnosed long before it became serious. A failure to diagnose certain medical conditions can mean major complications or even death are the results. At The Weitz Firm, we believe that negligent doctors should be held accountable. No, we do not think that all medical problems are the result of a misdiagnosis, but there are some situations where a condition should have been caught by a doctor. When you need a medical malpractice attorney in Philadelphia, you can contact us for a free consultation by clicking here or calling 267-587-6240.