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Maryland Workers' Compensation Attorneys > Blog > Medical Malpractice & Nursing Home Abuse > Do You Know the #1 Cause Of Medical Malpractice Claims?

Do You Know the #1 Cause Of Medical Malpractice Claims?


We put a lot of trust in doctors and medical professionals to treat us and return us to good health. When doctors violate this trust by acting negligently, recklessly, or failing to meet the expected standard of care, it can have dangerous and devastating consequences. If you have suffered injury, harm, or disability, as a result of a doctor or medical professional’s medical negligence, you have legal options available to you. While nothing can undo the harm caused, a personal injury lawsuit for medical malpractice can restore you to the position you would have been in financially had the harm never occurred. This can be a huge relief, and can allow you to focus on healing and getting back to your life as opposed to trying to cope with mounting medical bills and financial stresses. After all, it’s unfair for you to have to bear the burden of someone else’s negligence.

#1 Cause of Medical Malpractice Claims

The leading cause of medical malpractice claims in the United States is misdiagnosis. Failing to diagnose, or misdiagnosing, a serious condition can have life-threatening and even life-ending consequences. For instance, a patient presenting with symptoms of a heart attack that fails to receive appropriate testing or an accurate diagnosis may suffer cardiac arrest or death as a result. Likewise, failing to diagnose, or misdiagnosing, a serious condition can allow it to further develop to the point where medical intervention is no longer helpful. For this reason, it is critical that doctors adhere to the appropriate standard of care when meeting with patients and assessing symptoms, and that they perform appropriate tests and follow-ups on this basis.

When is Misdiagnosis Negligence?

Not every misdiagnosis amounts to negligence. Medical conditions can be complex and difficult to diagnose. Even doctors who are acting carefully and in the best interest of the patient can arrive at an improper diagnosis. If another doctor in their position could have arrived at the same conclusion, it is unlikely to rise to the level of medical negligence. In assessing negligence, it will likely be necessary to assess the doctor’s use of the differential diagnosis method. Using this method, a doctor will create a list of possible diagnoses based on probability. The doctor will then order tests and ask follow-up questions to further assess the probability of each potential diagnosis, until they have narrowed it down to the most probable one. In order to succeed in a medical malpractice case, you must establish that another doctor in a similar specialty and under similar circumstances, would not have misdiagnosed their condition. If the doctor’s final conclusion was reasonable and could have been reached by another doctor in the same situation, then it is likely not medical negligence.

Talk to a Maryland Personal Injury Attorney

If you have suffered injury or disability due to medical malpractice, contact the experienced Mayland medical malpractice attorneys at Berman | Sobin | Gross LLP and schedule a free consultation today.

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