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Radiology Errors Affect Thousands Every Year
Radiology is a discipline that involves the use of various imaging techniques to diagnose and treat disease. Radiology techniques include X-rays, ultrasound, CT scans, PET scans and MRIs. Radiology errors hurt or kill thousands of people every year and the resulting harm can be difficult to trace back to the error itself. In such cases, the assistance of an experienced Tampa medical malpractice lawyer can be invaluable.
Common Radiology Errors
Radiology errors can be divided into four main types:
- Perception errors: The radiologist fails to spot an abnormality, resulting in delayed treatment of a dangerous condition, such as cancer, and sometimes even death.
- Interpretation errors: The radiologist inadequately describes a known abnormality by describing a malignant tumor as benign, for example.
- Recommendation errors: The radiologist issues an ill-advised recommendation to the doctor as to what step to take next. This might result in a failure to follow up on a dangerous condition until it is too late to prevent serious harm.
- Communication errors: The radiologist fails to communicate his findings to the referring physician or other appropriate healthcare provider in a timely fashion. Merely issuing a written report may not be enough if the radiologist discovers a condition that requires immediate intervention – a telephone call or in-person notification may be required.
Florida Medical Malpractice Claims
To successfully assert a claim under Florida medical malpractice law, you must establish the applicable standard of care, you must prove that the defendant failed to meet that standard, and you must show that the defendant’s failure to meet the standard of care actually caused the harm that you suffered. Finally, you must calculate and prove the exact amount of the damages you are claiming.
If the victim of the radiology error died as a result of the error, Florida wrongful death law allows legal survivors of the victim’s estate to file a wrongful death lawsuit.
If you win a verdict or settlement in a Florida medical malpractice case, you could be awarded damages for:
- Past, present and future medical expenses
- Lost earnings
- Out-of-pocket expenses such as travel expenses
- Pain and suffering damages to compensate you for physical suffering
- Mental anguish damages to compensate you for losing the use of your legs, for example, or for losing the ability to enjoy every day activities such as walking
In principle, you can be compensated for any loss, whether tangible or intangible, that arose directly from a radiology error. In a medical malpractice case, however, you can only receive the amount of damages that you can prove.
If you suffered permanent injuries, for example, it could be necessary to involve expert witnesses to calculate the amount of medical expenses that are likely to arise decades from now. Moreover, medical malpractice law changes from time to time. Recently, for example, Florida courts have been striking down Florida’s caps on certain types of non-economic damages that can be awarded in medical malpractice lawsuits.
If you believe that you might be the victim of a radiology error, the experienced medical malpractice attorneys at Alley, Clark & Greiwe can help you handle evasive health care providers and stingy medical malpractice insurers through either negotiation or litigation. Contact us online or call us at 813-222-0977 for your free initial case consultation.