Medical Malpractice & Radiology: More Common Than You Might Realize
Radiologists play an extremely important role in helping patients get the care they need. Scans like X-rays and MRIs can be valuable tools in accurately diagnosing patients, by either helping to confirm a potential illness or by ruling out a condition. So when radiologists make errors when interpreting the results of those types of imaging tests, the consequences can be devastating for the patient.
Unfortunately, medical malpractice claims involving radiologists are alarmingly common. As of 2013, the RSNA reported that radiologists only accounted for 3.6% of all physicians in America, they were ranked 6th among all types of specialists in terms of the number of closed malpractice cases they have been defendants in.
According to a 2018 study, 15% of all medical malpractice cases involving a missed or incorrect diagnosis are made against radiologists. It also found that 80% of missed diagnosis claims involving radiology result in permanent injury or death. These types of errors often involve conditions like breast cancer, non-spinal fractures, spinal fractures, lung cancer, and vascular disease.
Some other types of errors commonly involved in malpractice lawsuits against radiologists include procedural complications and communication mistakes. Since radiologists work closely with other types of physicians, it’s extremely important that communication be clear between them — and for that strong communication be carried over between the physician and their patients. In some cases, there may be a lapse in communication between the radiologist and another physician or the physician doesn’t provide the patient with all the pertinent information they need. Because of these types of communication errors, there may be cases when a patient’s physician and a radiologist may be jointly liable for an error or a physician may be more at fault for a mistake than the physician.
Medical malpractice cases can be very complex, especially when there can be grey areas when it comes to liability. If you or a loved one has been the victim of medical malpractice involving a radiologist, it’s very important to get in touch with an experienced medical malpractice lawyer right away. A lawyer will be able to make sure your case is brought against the right parties and will fight for you to get the compensation you need.
At Goodwin & Scieszka, you’ll be able to get help from a medical malpractice lawyer who has helped many people just like you. We’re experienced in dealing with Michigan law and can help answer your questions and help you understand all your legal options. Contact us today for help with your case.
Image credit: iStock/Chinnapong