Radiology Errors: From the Common to the Catastrophic

Radiologists are specialized doctors specifically trained in reading laboratory results. They examine results coming from x-ray machines, MRIs, CT scans, mammograms, and more, before compiling their findings in a report for a primary physician. This primary physician will then determine the best path forward in terms of diagnostics and treatment.  When all parts are doing their jobs correctly, the system can work seamlessly, as patients are referred to radiologists for certain exams, before being treated by their normal doctors. However, when just one part of the process does not do their job correctly, the patient will be the one who suffers.

If the radiologist fails to accurately read the results of a particular lab exam, necessary findings such as lumps, tumors, and fractures will not appear. From there, if a physician does what many do, and simply takes the radiologist at their word, they will not diagnose and treat properly.  Victims of medical malpractice because of radiology mistakes and errors should immediately contact a local law office with experience in the field to see if they have a valid claim to compensation.

What Radiologists Frequently Miss

A radiologist must always be on top of their game when evaluating lab results. They can miss vital things that are quintessential to the patient’s health, just as they can misdiagnose something, leaving physicians in the position of treating for something that is not there. Some of the things radiologists can misidentify include but are not limited to:

  • internal bleeding
  • aneurysms
  • internal bleeding
  • cancers in the liver, pancreas, lungs, etc.
  • ulcers
  • benign/metastasized tumors

Poorly-administered tests, or test results read wrong, all spell trouble for the patient, who can see massive health risks, financial burdens, or even unnecessary treatment due to the errors of a radiologist.

When the Other Shoe Drops

Unfortunately, not every radiologist’s mistake gets caught by a patient’s primary physician. Many physicians today simply follow the radiologist’s lead, which means patients can be held to impossible tests, treatments, and expenses.  This is not only a failure not the process of medical diagnostics and treatment, but why another process, the medical malpractice one, exists.

What The Radiology Malpractice Process Looks Like

If the above circumstances sound like something that you or a loved one has recently been through, you have our sympathy. Truly, medical errors, especially preventable ones, can be the most destructive in our lives.  However, you may be able to fight for recompense, by filing a medical malpractice claim against the radiologist (as well as any physicians who failed in their duties, or the hospital in which these medical professionals are employed).  The way this would happen would be by first demonstrating the exact failure on the part of the radiologist. This is the ‘competent physician’ step, necessary in any medical malpractice suit, and it demonstrates that another expert in the field would not have made the same mistake.

This is a logical first step. If a tumor was truly unreadable on a mammogram, then the radiologist is not liable for any damages. It is only when a tumor was perceivable, or at least within enough doubt that a follow-up exam should have been ordered and was not, that the patient has a claim of malpractice against the radiologist.  Once expert testimony has confirmed that another, competent physician would not have made the same radiology error, the second step in any malpractice claim comes in demonstrating the link between the radiologist’s error and an injury to the patient.  This injury can be financial, physical, emotional, or any combination of the three; as long as the prior step demonstrated that it was a preventable injury, caused by the radiologist not conforming to a high standard of care, the malpractice claim is valid.

Going to Court Over Mistakes In X-Rays, MRI, CT Scans, Mammograms, and More

Like every other physician specialist out there, radiologists have expensive insurance to protect them from these very claims. This insurance pays for attorneys who will attempt to discredit your claim, by either attacking the first premise (expert testimony) or second premise (preventable injury) of your argument.  This is part of the reason why having a dedicated law team at your side is so essential. The world of medical malpractice is a complex legal one, and is extremely difficult to navigate without experienced attorneys assisting you.  The Clark Law Office has a team of lawyers well-versed in the intricacies of radiology malpractice. They will be able to offer a free consultation, examining all of your evidence thoroughly before making an educated assessment on whether you have a valid claim or not.  Our battle-proven lawyers are guaranteed to make sure that, in the case you’re eligible for compensation, you get the absolute most possible. We know that radiology malpractice can be devastating on a victim and their family, and we therefore fight for as much recompense as is justified.  Give The Clark Law Office a call today at +1 (517) 347-6900.