Chicago Radiology Error Lawyer
Chicago Radiology Malpractice Attorneys
The attorneys at Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers, LLC can help you pursue a radiology mistake lawsuit, financial compensation, and justice. Our legal team can ensure you or a loved one holds those at-fault accountable for everything you have endured.
Discuss your compensation claim with a Chicago, IL attorney who will protect your rights and obtain the compensation you deserve. Contact our Chicago law offices at (888) 424-5757 (toll-free phone call) to schedule a free consultation with a Chicago malpractice attorney today.
Diagnostic tests like X-rays, CT scans, and ultrasounds might only be as useful as the professionals who are interpreting the results.
Unfortunately, patients could suffer severe injuries when health care professionals fail to treat the condition because of a delayed diagnosis or misdiagnosis revealed by tests at doctors' offices, hospitals, and emergency rooms.
It's reasonable to expect medical professionals to accurately identify injuries, medical conditions, and other identifiable concerns when performing these expensive tests.
Because of that, you should not have to pay the bill for medical treatment associated with a failed diagnosis by health care providers.
Critical Medical Conditions Identified Through Imaging Scans
X-rays, ultrasounds, CT scans, and imaging scans allow us to do what was once impossible— look beyond the body's external surface and identify injuries and areas of concern below the skin.
These tests are instrumental in determining if an athlete or accident victim has a broken bone or can diagnose the spread of an infection within the body.
Some severe concerns that can be identified through imaging scans include the following.
- Developmental problems throughout pregnancy. Identifying risks and potentially life-threatening conditions throughout pregnancy could allow doctors to reduce the risk of congenital disabilities or birth injuries. For example, an ultrasound during labor could let doctors know that the umbilical cord is wrapped around the fetus’ neck, resulting in an emergency response to save the child’s life and prevent brain damage.
- Internal wounds, bleeding or hemorrhaging. The failure to locate the internal wound and provide treatment can severely damage internal organs or death if the patient is bleeding internally.
- Traumatic brain injuries. These types of injuries do not always present with symptoms initially. By the time patients do exhibit signs of an injury, the damage has become extensive. It is always advisable to undergo testing for a TBI following trauma to the head, regardless of how you feel. Early diagnosis of a brain injury may lead to a much more favorable prognosis.
- Development or spread of cancer. The survival rate of cancer patients in the early stages is exponentially higher than those whose cancer has progressed or spread to other areas of the body. Failure to diagnose cancer early on can become a death sentence, as most Stage IV cancers have survival rates below 20%. Examples include lung cancer and breast cancer.
Our Chicago radiologist malpractice attorneys were alarmed to discover through a study conducted in the British Medical Journal that over 40,000 patients die yearly because their doctors failed to diagnose their conditions. This alarming rate is simply unacceptable.
Doctors must take the time needed to examine and interpret the results of the diagnostic tests so that their diagnosis can be accurate and the treatment they recommend is appropriate to better well-being.
Hiring a Chicago Medical Malpractice Attorney
The Chicago medical malpractice attorneys at Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers LLC obtain compensation on behalf of our clients for the medical attention, pain and suffering, and out-of-pocket expenses resulting from these radiological errors.
Our Chicago medical malpractice lawyers currently represent clients throughout the United States, Illinois, and Cook County, DuPage County, Kane County, Lake County, Will County, and Arlington Heights.
Doctors Are Not Solely Liable for Defective X-rays and Radiology Errors
You need to identify what went wrong and whose fault it is if your doctor failed to diagnose your condition. Without proof, you may seek compensation for your damages from the wrong party and decrease your chances of successfully resolving your lawsuit.
Before a radiologist can interpret test results, the tests must be administered and then handled by lab technicians who could commit errors, skewing the results.
Human errors cause many medical mistakes. It is reasonable for the patient to expect that the lab will double-check results and ensure that tests are adequately performed before sending the results to the treating doctor or professional diagnostician.
Your doctor must then interpret the information correctly and diagnose the injury or medical condition to ensure that the patient receives the proper treatment.
A Failure to Diagnose
The diagnostic errors rate in the United States involving x-rays, CT scans, and magnetic resident imaging is considerable. According to the National Institutes of Health, medical mistakes, including radiological imaging errors, wasted medical spending, and claim the lives of approximately 10% of the preventable deaths occurring in adverse hospital events and emergency room visits.
According to statistics, over half of all civil lawsuits involving radiological negligence result from a mistake in diagnosis or a failure to diagnose. The National Academy of Sciences (NAS) defines a diagnostic error as failing to follow protocol or making a mistake during the diagnostic process that leads to a misdiagnosis or delayed diagnosis.
Mistakes in diagnosing the patient's condition accurately can happen at nearly every stage of the diagnostic process, including:
- Not ordering a diagnostic test
- Ordering the wrong diagnostic test
- Performing the test inaccurately
- Misinterpreting the test results, failing to diagnose lung cancer, breast cancer, pancreatic cancer, brain cancer, or another deadly disease detectable in the x-rays
- Using defective equipment, including MRIs, CT scans, ultrasounds, and x-rays
- A lack of communication and teamwork
- Technical failures
- Poorly established policies and procedures
Any cognitive limitation in a medical team can lead to an accurate diagnosis of the patient's condition. Any failure to diagnose may result from a professional team member who is tired, ill, moody, biased, or lacks the level of expertise necessary to take or interpret the images accurately.
Many radiologists feel the stress and pressure of a heavy workload necessitating the interpretation of many images quickly. According to statistics, the typical radiology error rate averages at about five percent every year.
With more than one billion radiologic image examinations performed every year worldwide, a five percent error rate would result in over forty million diagnostic mistakes.
Many of these errors involved the wrong test result interpretation, neglecting abnormalities apparent in the test image result, and a failure to contact the patient to discuss their test results.
Radiology malpractice typically involves diagnostic radiology errors and medical negligence that leads to a failure to diagnose. These mistakes can occur in a hospital, medical center, doctor's office, and emergency room.
Physicians, radiologists, and other medical professionals can be found civilly liable (guilty) for medical malpractice if the victim can establish four essential elements. These elements include:
- A doctor-patient relationship exists
- The victim can prove that the radiologist committed a negligent act, which breached their duty of care to the patient (standard of care breach)
- The professional radiologist's negligence resulted in the victim's injuries (proximate cause)
- The patient’s injuries were real and documented
If the case goes to trial, the jury, and sometimes the judge, will decide “trier of fact,” determining if the radiologist/medical professional/physician’s conduct constituted negligence.
However, medical malpractice lawyers resolved more than 90% of all medical malpractice claims through negotiated settlements rather than taking the case to trial.
Sample Illinois Radiology Malpractice Jury Verdicts and Settlements
Below are some sample malpractice cases involving radiological errors. We are including these to give you a flavor as to how these cases may be evaluated by a jury or defense lawyer.
We recognize that these cases may give rise to additional questions related to your particular cases. Consequently, you are invited to call us for a free consultation with our law firm. You can discuss your case with an experienced attorney who can advise you of your legal rights and options for pursuing financial recovery.
$1,021,716 Verdict; Misinterpreted X-ray and Radiology Error Lawsuit; Cook County, Illinois
A 50-year-old woman with several pre-existing conditions, including diabetes, visited her doctor, who recommended she undergo an x-ray. The radiologist misinterpreted the results and did not identify a navicular fracture in her leg.
The patient continued using her leg while walking and standing, believing it was not broken. Eventually, she developed Charcot disease, hereditary disorders that caused damage to the legs and arms' nerves.
The Illinois woman filed a civil lawsuit against the radiologist and imaging company. Her medical malpractice claim alleged that the radiologist negligently misread her X-rays and CT scans results, which led to her fracture, pain, increased risk of pain, amputation, and costs including over
$20,000 in medical fees.
The defendants pointed the blame at her primary care physicians, who did not take responsibility for their errors. The imaging company and radiologist also replied that these issues resulted from her underlying conditions and had nothing to do with their services.
The defendants chose not to settle with the plaintiff and took their case to trial. A jury determined that the defendants violated the standard of care when they negligently misread her X-rays, which caused her not to receive proper treatment. The jury awarded the injured woman over $1 million to the plaintiff.
$428,000 Verdict; Misread X-Ray Malpractice; Cook County, Illinois
A doctor performed medical care and placed the patient's hand in a splint before sending the man home. Unfortunately, a radiologist had misread a set of x-rays ordered by the victim's Physician.
Later tests confirmed, though, that the victim had broken his hand. The delayed diagnosis meant that surgery could not reunite the bone.
Also, there was a deformity near the base of the hand and a collapsed space between the fingers, which was not promptly treated. Eventually, the victim developed arthritis and will need rehab and surgery in the future due to the substandard treatment.
The man's attorney sued the doctors and radiologists involved in these events based on radiology malpractice and medical negligence. The plaintiff's lawyer claimed that the defendant's medical negligence caused his client's injuries, disability, and costs because the professional radiologist failed to interpret the x-rays accurately.
The defendants replied that they rendered adequate service but that the victim's problems pre-existed these circumstances.
The defendants stated that they believed the arthritis was a pre-existing condition before they provided care to the plaintiff. This fact-intensive matter was presented to a judge and jury.
The jurors found for the plaintiff and awarded a $428,000 verdict for lost normal life ($200,000), pain ($175,000), medical bills ($15,000), lost wages ($13,000), and disfigurement ($25,000), resolving the radiology malpractice claim.
$1,500,000 Settlement; Misread Ultrasound Malpractice; Cook County, Illinois
A Chicago area female patient in her mid-40s had undergone a knee replacement on her left leg. A few months after that operation, the woman began feeling pain in the leg.
Technicians performed an ultrasound. However, the results did not identify her compartment syndrome condition. The misdiagnosis and a failure to treat the victim promptly led to a foot drop in her left leg.
The condition developed even though she had already undergone a thigh fasciotomy, where the surgeons cut the compartment open to allow the muscle to swell, restore blood flow, and decrease pressure.
The plaintiff's condition generated almost $250,000 in medical bills. In response, her medical malpractice lawyer filed a civil lawsuit against her medical providers after these developments.
She additionally lost almost $100,000 in time away from work and still had the pain, discomfort, and disability in her left leg. The medical team could not provide a sound defense and chose not to take the case to trial. Instead, all parties agreed to settle the case for a reported $1.5 million to resolve the medical negligence claim.
$425,000 Settlement; Misread Ultrasound Malpractice; Winnebago County, Illinois
The doctor misread a thirty-six-year-old woman's ultrasound results. The physician incorrectly diagnosed that the patient had a tumor that would stop her from getting pregnant.
Without recognizing radiology errors, the doctor began a corrective surgical procedure. During the surgery, he noticed a previously undiagnosed condition, adenomyosis, an inflammatory endometrium condition where tissue grows within the uterine wall. The condition does not prevent pregnancy.
The Physician's unnecessary operation scarred and damaged the patient's uterine lining. This medical mistake was devastating and prevented her from carrying a child, forcing her to use a surrogate. The medical malpractice victim sued the doctor, and the treatment center alleging their medical treatment did not comply with the standard of care recognized throughout Illinois.
In a privately negotiated case settlement, she and her husband received $425,000 in compensation for her preventable medical condition. About $120,000 of the compensation paid her medical bills, and about $60,000 of that was for the surrogacy costs.
Radiology Malpractice Injury FAQs
Our law office recognizes that you likely have many questions about how to proceed with a case involving a radiology mistake that caused harm to you or a loved one.
Our attorneys have answered some of the most pressing questions involving radiology medical malpractice below. However, contact us or call us today at (888) 424-5757 if you need more answers on how to file and resolve your compensation claim.
Do Radiologists Get Sued for Medical Malpractice Frequently?
Radiologists face one of the highest rates of medical malpractice lawsuits compared to all other medical professionals. At least one time during every radiologist’s career, approximately one out of every three radiology professionals will be sued for medical malpractice by injured victims or surviving family members.
Filing a personal injury claim or wrongful death lawsuit requires submitting all the necessary paperwork before the state statute of limitations expires. A failure to file in time, before the expiration of the statute of limitations usually results in a permanent ban from ever filing a malpractice claim in the future.
What Do Radiologists Get Sued for the Most?
Many lawyers for the plaintiffs base their malpractice cases involving radiologists on the professional's failure to diagnose or a diagnostic error. A failure to diagnose is involved in three of four medical malpractice lawsuits filed against radiologists.
Many of the “failure to diagnose” civil lawsuits involve errors with mammograms, x-rays, CT scans, and MRIs. Some medical malpractice cases involving radiologists are based on failing to diagnose lung cancer, brain damage, and breast cancer.
What Are My Chances of Winning a Radiologist Malpractice Case?
A plaintiff filing a medical malpractice case against a radiologist citing negligence has an exceptionally high rate of successfully resolving their lawsuit. Statistically, four out of five radiologist malpractice cases are resolved through a negotiated settlement out of court.
Plaintiffs win jury awards in approximately one-half of all of the remaining twenty percent of lawsuits are resolved in a court trial. This plaintiffs’ success rate is significantly higher than the other medical malpractice cases where the doctors win 85% to 90% of those cases litigated in front of a judge and jury.
How Accurate are Radiology Report?
Clinical Innovation and Technology recently published an article revealing information about statistics gathered by New York’s Mount Sinai School of Medicine. The report indicates that radiologists are 91% accurate when interpreting diagnostic images.
However, the remaining nine percent can do significant damage to patients. These injured victims have the right to seek financial compensation against the medical professional in a radiology malpractice claim.
Can a Radiologist Misread CT Scan?
Doctors order radiology imaging to help diagnose medical conditions. X-rays, CT scans, and MRI technology can identify internal bleeding, fractures, cancer, and tumors. A chest x-ray may identify lung cancer or other serious respiratory condition.
However, successfully identifying conditions and injuries requires a radiologist's skills to read the CT scan correctly. Misreading the imaging could be considered radiologist medical malpractice.
Any radiological errors result from a lack of interpretive skills in a hospital emergency room, doctor's office, or urgent care center. Misinterpretation of x-rays is the most common form of radiology errors made in the medical field.
Is a CT Scan Better with or without Contrast?
Sometimes, the doctor will order a CT scan using contrast media dye to help identify bones, organs, and tissue better inside the body. The dye in the bloodstream helps clarify organs, tissue, veins, and arteries that may not be seen without the contrast media.
However, CT scans can be performed without contrast media and may be diagnostically acceptable and healthier. The use of iodine-based contrast media may be dangerous for some patients.
Our Chicago Radiology Malpractice Attorneys Are Here For You
The award-winning Chicago medical malpractice attorneys at Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers LLC represent victims of medical malpractice across Illinois.
If you have been injured or someone you care about passed away due to a medical error of this magnitude, our law firm will fight on behalf of you or a loved one to ensure that your family receives justice and compensation.
Your medical malpractice lawsuit jury trial award or negotiated settlement will more than pay for the cost of your medical treatment, lost wages, out-of-pocket expenses, rehabilitative therapy, long-term care, and pain and suffering.
Contact our Chicago medical malpractice lawyers now at (888) 424-5757 (toll-free) or through the contact form to arrange a free consultation with one of our Chicago medical malpractice attorneys. Our legal team accepts medical malpractice cases and wrongful death lawsuits.
Our lawyers work solely on a contingency basis, which means you are assured that you will never be required to remit payment until the case is successfully resolved. If we fail to secure compensation on your behalf, we will waive our fee for our services and time.
Let us file your personal injury compensation claim before the statute of limitations expires. All discussions you have with our Chicago medical malpractice attorneys during your free case evaluation will remain confidential as we create an attorney-client relationship.
Please do not send sensitive information to our law firm in a text message, email, or voicemail.