St. Louis Area Radiology Malpractice
St. Louis Medical Malpractice: Radiology Errors
Radiology errors occur thousands of times a year in the United States, and about 12 percent of these errors result in serious damage to the patient. In many cases the damage the patient suffers is not the result of the radiology itself, but the failure to diagnose a dangerous condition, such as anuerism, in time for it to be effectively treated. If you have been harmed by a radiology error, a skilled St. Louis medical malpractice lawyer may be able to help you obtain the compensation you are entitled to.
What is Radiology?
Radiology is essentially the interpretation of diagnostic films such as:
Because it takes a trained specialist to properly read and interpret a diagnostic film (otherwise known as a radiographic), a large percentage of medical malpractice claims are based on negligent radiology.
Causes of Radiology Errors
Most radiology errors boil down to failure to properly read a radiographic, or failure to promptly communicate the results. Some of the most common causes of radiology errors are:
Failure to spot an abnormality in a scan – failure to spot a fracture, for example.
Misinterpreting the results of a scan – mistaking a cancerous tumor for a kidney stone, for example.
Failure to promptly communicate with physicians (on the part of the radiologist).
Failure to promptly communicate with patient (on the part of the hospital).
Winning a Personal Injury Lawsuit
Even if your claim is valid, you need to be prepared to actually win a medical malpractice lawsuit before you are likely to receive fair compensation for your losses. Out of court, a prospect of losing a lawsuit can work wonders in persuading a stingy malpractice insurer to pay up. In many cases, the hardest part of winning a medical malpractice lawsuit in Missouri is assembling evidence that a court will admit under its rules of evidence. You are likely to need a lawyer to force reluctant hospitals to cough up their medical records, for example, and you are likely to need the services of an expert witness to help you make your case. Remember that even winning a malpractice lawsuit will do you very little good unless you can prove all of your damages, including items that are hard to prove or difficult to quantify such as future medical bills and mental anguish.
Winning a Wrongful Death Lawsuit
If the malpractice resulted in the death of the patient, Missouri personal injury law allows certain close relatives to file a wrongful death lawsuit against the hospital or radiologist. In this case, the damage award goes to the relatives, not the estate of the deceased. Although relatives of a deceased malpractice victim can recover for their own emotional losses, as of 2015 Missouri medical malpractice law caps these damages.
In St. Louis as well as elsewhere in the United States, winning a lawsuit and obtaining a settlement are closely related pursuits. Although the vast majority of St. Louis malpractice lawsuits are settled out of court, many of the most favorable settlements are concluded only after the defendant files a medical malpractice lawsuit, because a strong case is a far more potent motivator than smooth talk.
Winning a verdict or settlement over a radiology error requires the help of a skilled attorney with experience and knowledge in both Missouri law and the medical issues involved. It also requires a lawyer with dogged persistence, client loyalty and the will to win. Alvin Wolff possesses all of these attributes and is willing to meet with you for a free initial consultation. Take action by calling 314-241-2500 today.
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