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Misdiagnosis: heartbreak by the numbers

When you take your car to your favorite Greensburg mechanic, you expect that when he tells you there's a problem with your carburetor, it doesn't turn out that the problem was actually in the exhaust. A misdiagnosis of the problem can cost you time and money.

Of course, misdiagnosis of a health problem can cost a patient much more. Your physical health is on the line, as well as financial health, time and pain, among other things. A new report from an insurance company indicates that misdiagnoses are the cause of one-third of all medical malpractice claims.

Medical liability insurer Coverys analyzed more than 10,500 claims from the four-year period ending in 2017. Some of their findings include the following:

  • Diagnosis-related events accounted for 33 percent of all claims and 47 percent of claims that resulted in payments to patients.
  • Thirty-five percent of misdiagnoses are in non-emergency outpatient settings (doctors’ offices, for example).
  • A third of diagnosis-related claims alleged that the error happened during patient evaluation.
  • Lab test-related errors (mistakes in ordering tests or interpreting results, etc.) accounted for slightly more than half of diagnosis-related claims.
  • The largest number of diagnostic failure claims involved a missed or delayed diagnosis of cancer (especially breast, lung, colorectal and prostate).

Behind the misdiagnosis statistics are people, of course, and their heartbreaking stories of needless suffering, avoidable pain and sometimes even preventable deaths.

Tell your story to someone who can help you get justice and compensation for damage caused by medical malpractice: an experienced attorney skilled in negotiations and litigation.

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