An interesting and timely study recently published in a medical journal analyzed medical malpractice lawsuits against radiologists to see if there was a discernable pattern. It was found that the most common cause of a victim filing a lawsuit against a radiologist occurred in instances where a radiologist failed to diagnose breast cancer. Typically, this happens when a doctor misses critical material on a mammography scan and does not indicate that the patient needs additional testing. This means that an individual actively trying to remain in good health has been unknowingly rendered to leave their body to the ravages of untreated cancer.
In real terms, this means that an individual could lose out on years of their life due to a delay in treatment. With breast cancer, early diagnosis is crucial to the best outcome. The longer a cancer is left undiagnosed and thereby untreated, the lower an individual’s survival rate is and the more likely they will be subjected to more costly procedures.
A medical malpractice lawsuit cannot reverse time and fix the circumstances, but it can hold that doctor accountable. In cases of a failure to diagnose in Pennsylvania, an individual could pursue compensation for past and future medical expenses, lost income, diminished life span, diminished quality of life, and compensation for pain and suffering associated with such a terrible mistake.
Although doctors are susceptible to mistakes like the rest of us, their mistakes often yield consequences of a large scale. Accordingly, the manner in which those mistakes are rectified in Pennsylvania should occur on similar scale.
Source: DotMed, “Radiologists see most malpractice suits for mammography,” Loren Bonner, Feb. 6, 2013