Medical Malpractice in Radiology
Medical professionals play an essential role in treating illness and injury. Because of the potential consequences of medical errors, medical professionals are expected to deliver a certain quality of care, which is considered the accepted standard of care. A failure to provide the accepted standard of care is defined as medical malpractice.
Radiologists face some of the highest rates of medical malpractice claims in the field. Medical malpractice involving radiology can result in catastrophic physical, emotional, and financial damages. Medical malpractice lawyers Sean M. Burke and Jason N. Argos can assist individuals from the Irvine, CA, area in pursuing financial compensation when medical neglect leads to prolonged illness or injury.
The Duties of Radiologists
Radiologists have a difficult job. They must examine scans, such as x-rays, MRIs, and CT scans to detect abnormalities that indicate injury, illness, or disease. As with individuals in any other area of the medical field, radiologists sometimes make mistakes, or miss pieces of information that are critical to an accurate diagnosis.
If an error has been made and a patient suffers physical, emotional, and/or financial losses as a result, they should explore whether there are grounds to file a medical malpractice lawsuit. If a radiologist failed to meet the accepted standard of care, the patient may be due substantial financial rewards.
Establishing the Accepted Standard of Care
The accepted standard of care is established by comparing the actions of the treating medical professional to other similarly trained professionals in the field.
Essentially, when considering whether medical malpractice can be proven, our Irvine-based attorneys ask, “Would an ordinary, prudent radiologist have made the same mistake?” If the answer is no, we are likely to proceed with a claim.
Common Types of Radiology Errors
Medical malpractice cases in the field of radiology are predominantly related to diagnosis. The three most common types of errors that can lead to misdiagnosis, delayed diagnosis, or a failure to diagnose in the field of radiology are perception errors, knowledge errors, and failure to communicate.
- Perception Errors - Perception errors describe situations when a radiologist fails to see an abnormality that is present on the scan, whether due to neglect, lack of skill, or inexperience.
- Knowledge Errors - Knowledge errors refer to situations when a radiologist sees an abnormality on a scan, but they fail to realize the implications of their findings. Often this is because they lack knowledge or experience in the area, or have simply forgotten what was taught to them in medical school.
- Failure to Communicate - Radiologists rarely communicate directly with patients. However, their findings need to be reported to appropriate medical personnel, such as the patient’s treating physician. A failure to communicate describes situations where the radiologist fails to follow through with their report and ensure appropriate parties have been notified.
The Consequences of Radiology Mistakes
Medical malpractice in the field of radiology often results in prolonged illness and delayed treatment, which can allow illness or disease to progress to the point that further damage is done and more invasive treatment is needed. Not only does this put the patient through unnecessary physical and emotional trauma, but it can also lead to substantial financial losses.
Legal Damages in Radiology Error Cases
When representing victims of medical malpractice, our Irvine lawyers may fight for compensation for damages such as:
- Physical and emotional pain and suffering
- Diminished quality of life
- Medical expenses
- Lost wages
- Loss of future earning capacity
Contact Our Lawyers
If you believe that you have been a victim of a radiology error, our lawyers would be happy to look at the details of your case and determine if there are grounds for a medical malpractice lawsuit. To discuss your situation with Sean M. Burke and Jason N. Argos, send us a message online at your earliest convenience, or call (949) 438-4416 to schedule a consultation.