Hospital Misdiagnosis: What You Need To Know
Accurate diagnosis can be a matter of life and death in a hospital setting. Yet roughly 7.4 million people are misdiagnosed at the emergency room every year. About 1 in every 18 patients, or 6%, of the 130 million people who visit the ER in the U.S. receive an improper diagnosis.
About 2.6 million ER patients suffer some kind of harm or injury due to misdiagnosis, and approximately 370,000 die or become permanently disabled.
Most people place their faith in medical professionals during a medical emergency. If a medical professional’s misdiagnosis seriously harmed you or a loved one, you may be able to file a claim against the hospital for medical malpractice.
The medical malpractice lawyers at Berberian Ain, LLP can examine the facts of your case and help you recover compensation for the damages you suffered due to the hospital’s negligent misdiagnosis.
The Causes and Dangers of Misdiagnosis
Misdiagnosis can occur through little to no fault of the patient. Many patients, possibly impaired by their illness or injuries, arrive at the ER reporting nonspecific or unusual symptoms that doctors fail to investigate.
Out of the nearly 1,400 that occur annually per ER in the country, misdiagnosis is 20% to 30% more common for women and people of color. These rates are similar to those in hospital inpatient and primary care settings.
Serious and potentially fatal conditions are among the most commonly misdiagnosed. 39% of misdiagnoses include the following five conditions:
- Heart attacks
- Aortic dissection
- Spinal cord injuries
- Venous thromboembolism (clotting within the veins)
Improperly delayed or inaccurate treatment can aggravate such conditions, and patients with these conditions may suffer needlessly. 40% of patients who reported vertigo and dizziness had a misdiagnosed stroke, with 17% of stroke diagnoses missed overall in the ER.
When a serious or life-threatening condition is misdiagnosed, it can have devastating consequences. Doctors may ignore your symptoms, delay your treatment, or administer treatment for the wrong condition. These negligent actions can worsen your condition, leading to an ultimately preventable disability or death.
Recovering Compensation for Hospital Misdiagnosis
Medical professionals have a duty to thoroughly examine their patients to ensure they receive appropriate care. Misdiagnosis, particularly during medical emergencies, can be a costly mistake.
Survivors may face the prospect of long-term and costly medical care for a newfound disability, and loved ones of the ill or injured person might find themselves unexpectedly shouldering the cost of a memorial service.
Because of the potentially severe consequences of an inaccurate diagnosis, misdiagnosis can be classified as medical malpractice. California law states that if a medical professional acts negligently or fails to act according to the accepted standard of care and the patient becomes disabled or dies as a result, the provider can be held liable for damages.
If negligent care led you or a loved one to be misdiagnosed, and that misdiagnosis led to permanent disability or death, you have the right to file a medical malpractice claim against the hospital. A misdiagnosis claim allows you to recover financial compensation for damages such as:
- Medical expenses
- Funeral or memorial service costs
- Lost wages
- Emotional damages
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of companionship
Until 2022, medical malpractice and misdiagnosis claims in California only allowed victims to recover non-economic damages up to $250,000. However, in 2022, the state amended the law to raise the limit.
Starting January 1, 2023, medical malpractice victims and their families can seek up to $500,000 for cases involving wrongful death claims and $350,000 for personal injury cases. The law stipulates that these limits will continue to rise annually until they reach $1,000,000 and $750,000, respectively.
These new limits allow victims of misdiagnosis to recover significantly higher compensation for non-economic damages, which often makes up the bulk of a settlement.
The Challenges of Recovering Damages for Medical Malpractice
While you have the right to file a claim for medical malpractice, hospitals rarely admit their role in a preventable disability or death. They may try to claim that you or your loved one received appropriate medical care and are not entitled to compensation.
The assistance of an experienced hospital misdiagnosis attorney from Berberian Ain, LLP can make a significant difference in your claim. Our hospital misdiagnosis lawyers are familiar with medical malpractice law and can consult with medical experts to determine if you or your loved one were negligently misdiagnosed or treated.
We will use evidence such as your medical records, rehabilitation plan, and testimony of expert witnesses to build a strong argument and help you recover maximum compensation for the hospital’s negligence.
If a misdiagnosis harmed you or a loved one in California, contact the attorneys at Berberian Ain, LLP. Our legal team has extensive experience representing misdiagnosis and medical malpractice victims and will fight to help you recover the compensation you deserve.
Contact us today to schedule a free and confidential consultation.