Incorrect medical diagnoses: devastating effects on victims and families
By Dean I Weitzman, Esq. on April 8th, 2011
When you go to a doctor for medical treatment, you expect that your illness will be properly diagnosed and treated.
That, however, isn’t always the case.
Medical misdiagnosis is a frequent source of lawsuits on behalf of patients who have suffered, been grievously injured or died after incorrect medical diagnoses that led to the wrong courses of treatment.
In a recent case in Philadelphia, a 60-year-old man Pennsylvania man won a $9.65 million jury verdict after his degenerative spinal disease was misdiagnosed by his doctors as ALS, or Lou Gehrig’s Disease, according to a story this week in The Legal Intelligencer.
The man, who formerly worked as a men’s clothing store manager and security guard in an Atlantic City casino, now requires a wheelchair because his degenerative disease was not directly treated while the doctor incorrectly continued care for ALS, according to the story.
The man’s doctor got an “expert” opinion from an ALS specialist to confirm his diagnosis, according to the story, but several years later medical experts found that the patient didn’t have the disease.
In the meantime, the actual medical problems he had continued to be untreated, allowing them to progress.
These kinds of tragedies do occur and the damage they leave for patients and families can be horrific due to loss of earnings, strained family relationships and financial struggles as victims and their families struggle to cope with the situations that have occurred.
And incorrect diagnoses aren’t the only hazard that patients face when receiving medical care.
The non-profit Institute of Medicine, the health arm of the National Academy of Sciences, reported in a landmark study in 1999 that some 98,000 people die in the U.S. every year due to preventable medical errors.
That’s about four times the 24,474 people who are killed annually in motor vehicle accidents in the U.S., according to 2009 federal statistics.
To prevent such tragedies from happening, patients and their families must be vigilant about the medical care they receive by asking lots of questions, getting expert second opinions and having skilled medical advocates working on their behalf to ensure that the care they are receiving is proper and complete.
As insurance companies continue to battle patient benefit claims and push stricter reviews of medical claims, patients and their families must have the best advocates on their side to be sure that they are being well represented in their care.
The attorneys here at MyPhillyLawyer are ready to help you if you or someone in your family is injured through an improper medical diagnosis. We will investigate and review your case, work tirelessly on a resolution and help get you and your family back on track after such a difficult time.
You need the best legal advocates on your side to secure the damages you are entitled to in a medical misdiagnosis case.
At MyPhillyLawyer, we will fight for you to make your claims heard loudly and clearly..
When winning matters most, call MyPhillyLawyer.