Doctors owe a duty of care to test and treat their patients when they communicate their symptoms. If you visit a doctor for an illness, a failure to respond to your symptoms may cause serious injuries. The lack of proper care could worsen a medical condition.
WebMD reports that patients may file legal actions for medical carelessness that results in pain, suffering or financial loss. When a physician, hospital or clinic fails to uphold professional standards, you could have grounds to file a malpractice lawsuit to recover.
Common medical malpractice claims
Complaints filed against physicians typically highlight injuries that resulted from errors made during a diagnosis or when prescribing medicine. If a doctor fails to diagnose symptoms correctly or makes treatment mistakes, the errors could result in a lack of necessary medical care.
Mistakes also lead to patients receiving treatments for conditions they do not actually have. Doctors prescribing the wrong medications or an incorrect dosage face the second-highest number of medical malpractice claims. In some cases, doctors may perform an operation on the wrong body part or remove a necessary organ. This type of mistake could cause a permanent disability that leaves a patient unable to work.
Serious conditions that doctors may overlook
The Journal of the American Medical Association reported that the most common cancerous conditions doctors fail to diagnose include breast, lung and colorectal cancer. Failing to listen to patients who describe symptoms that require cancer screening could reflect breaching a duty of care.
As noted by the AARP, estimates point to at least 40,000 Americans dying each year from diagnostic failures, but the actual numbers could prove higher. When physicians fail to uphold their professional standards, patients and their families may file claims to help them heal from their injuries or loss.