Misread Tests May Result in Med Mal

It’s not too hard to imagine that someone may misread test results for a variety of reasons, from fatigue to inexperience. However, this medical error has the potential to result in a medical malpractice lawsuit.

It might not surprise you to know that the foundation of many medical malpractice lawsuits is someone misreading an X-ray, mammogram, MRI or CAT scan. Sure, they’re not the easiest things to interpret, but the people paid to do so have many years of training under their belts to enable them to do it right the first time.

Unfortunately, that does not always happen, because even those with extensive training have days when things just don’t go right. While it might be understandable, as they are human, a medical error like this has the potential to cause serious personal injuries or result in a fatality.

A good med mal attorney needs to prove that there was a mistaken interpretation of a test, which is not always easy to do. It is usually accomplished by having a qualified radiologist with extensive experience in interpreting imaging results. In other words, the med mal attorney will seek to hire an “expert” in the field of interpreting radiographic films to testify in court.

Keep in mind that the mistaken reading is not the only error in a scenario like this. This is merely the starting point for a whole cascade of errors that may ultimately include incorrect treatment; the wrong drugs and possibly counter intuitive therapy. If the disease in question happens to be cancer and the imaging results were misread, imagine the anguish of a patient who finds out either they have cancer and got the wrong treatment, or have cancer and were not diagnosed as such, leaving it to grow unchecked.

When using an expert in court, that individual needs to be able to not only support a misread/incorrect analysis, but also be able to offer the further opinion that there was no reasonable basis for that wrong interpretation. This isn’t easy to do either, and for this reason, medical malpractice lawsuits often take a fair amount of time to be settled.

Robert Webb is an Atlanta personal injury lawyer with Webb & D’Orazio, a law firm specializing in Atlanta personal injury, malpractice, criminal defense, and business law. Learn more about Atlanta personal injury lawyer, Atlanta personal injury, Atlanta business law, Atlanta criminal defense at Webbdorazio.com.