Misdiagnosis is a major problem in Florida and other states across the country according to two new insurance industry studies. The studies find that misdiagnosis cases are the top source of all medical malpractice claims.
The first study, conducted by Boston-based malpractice insurer Coverys, involved a review of 1,800 closed claims filed against doctors from 2013 until 2017. The analysis found that 46 percent of the claims involved a diagnosis-related issue. It further found that 68 percent of paid indemnity costs involved diagnosis-related claims. Finally, the study found that 45 percent of all diagnosis-related claims involved the death of a patient.
For the second study, conducted by malpractice insurer The Doctors Company, researchers analyzed 1,215 pediatric claims closed between 2008 and 2017. They found that 38 percent of those claims involved diagnosis-related issues, including wrong diagnoses, missed diagnoses and failed diagnoses. According to the study, most of the claims were caused by inadequate medical assessments. In 2017, a University of Michigan analysis of nearly 63,000 malpractice cases found that 22 percent of all claims involved diagnosis-related problems. The studies by Coverys and The Doctors Company indicate that misdiagnosis claims are even more prevalent. A 2015 study by the National Academy of Medicine found that diagnostic mistakes could be the third most common cause of death for hospitalized patients in the U.S.
Victims of misdiagnosis and other medical mistakes could be owed compensation for multiple damages, including medical expenses, pain and suffering, lost income and mental anguish. A personal injury attorney may evaluate a victim's case to determine if a doctor failed to provide the standard of care and what legal remedies could be appropriate. One solution might be to file a medical malpractice lawsuit against the responsible doctor and hospital to recover costs.