Radiology malpractice occurs when there is a breakdown during the process of getting the scans or imaging done that we rely on to diagnose serious illnesses. We count on health care providers to appropriately use these technologies to diagnose and treat life-threatening medical conditions.
Unfortunately, radiologists, physicians, and other health care professionals routinely fail to order necessary imaging or misread images that indicate the presence of devastating illnesses, such as cancer.
Mr. Davis is an accomplished radiology malpractice attorney in Atlanta, Georgia. He has received virtually every award and honor available to Georgia trial attorneys. He is one of the foremost experts on radiology malpractice law in Georgia. Published on March 16, 2017, last updated on June 29, 2019.
CT scans, PET scans, x-rays, and other imaging technologies allow physicians to look inside the body without surgery. An x-ray may be used for something as (relatively) low-stakes as a broken wrist, whereas CT scans and PET scans are often used to diagnose cancer, Alzheimer’s, heart disease, and other extremely serious conditions.
So, when there is a failure to follow proper procedure, a failure to diagnose properly, or a failure to make sure the right scans are performed, radiology malpractice can come into play. Something like a cancer misdiagnosis, for example, can obviously have terrible ramifications.
Like all medical negligence cases, those involving radiology errors are highly complex in nature and there are many opportunities for the negligent party to avoid taking responsibility. At Davis Adams, our attorneys diligently discover the important facts, retain world-class expert witnesses and methodically prepare radiology error cases for trial in a way that maximizes the opportunity for a verdict that provides justice for our clients.
According to a recent report published by the University of South Carolina School of Medicine, “Problems associated with radiology practice have been described many times. A well-known editorial… describes two serious problems with the current pattern of radiology practice. In that editorial, one of the major problems was thought to be the difficulty in planning the diagnostic workup.
Currently, there are so many imaging choices that it is very difficult to make a decision about the most effective method of obtaining the needed diagnostic information.
A second major problem was thought to be the way radiology reports are presented. Frequently, the reports are not well organized and are relatively imprecise. This makes it difficult for the clinician to obtain a definite opinion from the radiologist on which the clinician can base appropriate patient management.”
Clearly, the practice is radiology is currently ripe for instances of negligent care. If you or a loved one has experienced serious issues with your radiology care, Davis Adams can help you determine what your options are.
In addition to the serious issues raised in the above-referenced report, other commons forms of radiology malpractice include:
If you, your child or a loved one have suffered as a result of a radiology error, we can obtain the necessary medical records and have an expert physician review the file free of charge to determine whether a doctor or other healthcare provider was negligent.
Your best chance for a full and fair recovery in a radiology malpractice case is retaining a firm like ours with significant experience and a track record of success. Don’t hesitate to reach out, situations like these that can result in misdiagnosis lawsuits are extremely serious.
There has actually been a fair amount of research on the subject of how often radiologists make mistakes. The error rate for radiology diagnoses is estimated to be between 10-15%, which is similar to the rate in 1960 if you can believe it. One study, in particular, found that clinically significant mistakes in radiology occur between 2-20% of the time.
About a billion radiologic imaging scans are carried out globally each year. Most of the resulting images are also interpreted by radiologists. If you take into consideration the different types of mistakes made per year and estimate with the lowest end of that spectrum, 2%, that would indicate there are 20 million radiology errors annually, worldwide.
One reason for this extremely high error rate may be the fact that interpreting the images that result from radiology scans is an inexact science. You may notice this if you get a second opinion on your tests– two radiologists will often disagree about an image.
Some vital things to know about medical malpractice lawsuits include the statute of limitations, the definition of medical negligence, and what factors go into evaluating what your case is worth.
In the state of Georgia, the statute of limitations for radiology malpractice is similar to various other medical negligence cases like meningitis misdiagnosis or a surgical error. You generally have two years from the date of the irresponsible treatment to file your case. However, there are some scenarios that affect the quantity of time you have to submit a case. An experienced malpractice attorney can evaluate your situation and let you know what applies to you.
Establishing if clinical negligence happened is also something an attorney can help you comprehend. Medical malpractice occurs when a health center, doctor, registered nurse, or any other health care professional, through a negligent act or lack of action, causes an injury to a client. This may be the result of mistaken diagnosis, treatment, aftercare or health administration. In order to be classified as medical malpractice, the standard of care must have been broken, an injury must have been created, and the injury must have resulted in substantial damages.
Speaking of damages, here is what is taken into consideration when trying to determine just how much a medical negligence case might be worth:
Economic damages, including:
Non-economic damages, including:
It’s never anyone’s first choice to take their nurse, doctor, or hospital to court, yet unfortunately, economic reparations are the only type of justice offered to negligence victims in the civil court system. At Davis Adams, we recognize just how tough this situation is since we’ve aided hundreds of people in going through it. Don’t hesitate to contact us if you or a loved one is facing radiology malpractice or another type of healthcare malpractice.